Berea City School District

Our Mission: To help students achieve dreams they never imagined possible

Excellence in Action Archives 2011-2012

June 2012

Congratulations to Donovan Robertson, Berea High, for being named Gatorade 2011-2012 Ohio Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Donovan is the first Gatorade Ohio Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Berea High...and this is the second year he has been chosen. The Gatorade award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Donovan as Ohio's best high school boys track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track &Field Athlete of the Year Award to be announced in June, Donovan joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports.


Donovan won the 100-meter high hurdles with a time of 13.66 seconds and the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 35.96 at the Division I state championship meet this spring.  He also won both hurdling events at the Midwest Meet of Champions, and his second-best times in the 110-meter hurdles, the 300-meter hurdles, and the 400-meter hurdles all ranked among the nation's top three performances by prep competitors in 2012 at the time of his selection.


Donovan has maintained a 3.66 GPA in the classroom. Also a talented musician, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the youth soccer program and has assisted sports medicine patients at an area hospital."  Donovan has been a leader since he stepped on the track at Berea," said Head Coach Ryan Nigro. "He's not only blessed with extraordinary physical skills, but his ability to mentally process the mechanics of the hurdles sets him apart from his peers." Donovan has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in track and filed on scholarship at The Ohio State University this fall.


June 2012
Five Berea City School District students were chosen for the highly-competitive summer internship program presented by the Cleveland Clinic's Office of Civic Education Initiatives. Congratulations to Emily Truong (Berea High) - Creative Learning Internship; Theresa Meli (Midpark)- Pharmacy Internship; Cassidy Broz (Midpark) - Science Internship; Mohammad-Saad Siddiqui (Midpark) - Science Internship; and Michelle Sales (Midpark) Science Internship for Nursing.

The Cleveland Clinic Office of Civic Education Initiatives' Summer Internship Program was designed to increase high school students' interest and literacy in science by expanding their learning experiences beyond the classroom. The program's intensive, nine-week, paid internships provide top students throughout Northeast Ohio with the opportunity to work and learn alongside nationally renowned healthcare professionals in a variety of fields. At the end of the program, students present scientific research or creative projects that they have produced over the nine weeks. For more information, visit
June 2012

Neha Gosalia (MHS, 2000 ) was the second runner-up at the Miss India International Beauty Pageant held at Madison Hotel in Morristown, New Jersey, on May 6, 2012. She also won the “Best Interview” prize. Contestants from Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, New Jersey and Ohio competed in a series of rounds ranging from fitness wear, fashion wear, Indian dress, and a Question-Answer round. Neha represented Ohio. Pageant judges included Indian actress Kalpana Pandit; CEO of Bravura Magazine, Tirusha Dave; White House correspondent Tejinder Singh; and VP of Operations at IND TV, Harry Romana. Developed by Dr. Juhi Jagiasi, a connoisseur of arts, the pageant aims to empower women to be confident and be leaders in their communities. Neha was featured in the June 2012 issue of India International.


Neha attended Cleveland State University, graduating with a business degree with a double major in finance and marketing. She currently works for the U.S. Treasury. Said Neha, "“It was a great experience where I learned a lot and met some wonderful women. I was proud to represent my hometown of Cleveland at the pageant. Though I didn’t bring home the crown, I walked away inspired, motivated, and positive. Thanks to my amazing parents Pradip and Punita Gosalia and brother Paras Gosalia for supporting me through the journey. Special thanks to all my friends across the community and throughout the country who believed in me. I look forward to doing more for my community and inspiring others to do the same."

June 2012

Congratulations to Mrs. Karen Rohde, Coordinator of Gifted Services for the Berea City School District. Her article, Barriers That Bring Opportunities: Financial Cuts That Result in Positive Changes, was recently published in the Spring 2012 issue of the OAGC Review, The Journal for the Ohio Association for Gifted Children.

May 2012

Congratulations to Grindstone student, Brock Doyle, for having his original play "Alien Adventures" selected as a winner for the Marilyn Bianchi Kids' Playwriting Festival. Brock was one of twenty winners in Grades 1-12 from across Cuyahoga County and he will be recognized at the Dobama Theatre in Cleveland Heights this weekend. 


May 2012

Jonathan Hicks, a 2004 graduate of Midpark High School, a 2008 Bachelor of Science graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and a 2012 MAEd graduate of Baldwin-Wallace, has just been named a Graduate Learning Fellow for Cleveland Clinic's Office of Civic Education Initiatives (OCEI) and Baldwin-Wallace College.


Jonathan is the first B-W Fellow selected by the OCEI. He will not only use his degrees in Visual Arts and Educational Technology during his 15 month fellowship at OCEI, but will also provide technology training for Baldwin Wallace University pre-service teachers.


This fellowship is highly selective and a great example of creative collaboration between the fields of health care and education through integrated arts & sciences.  Jonathan Hicks is an outstanding example of a Berea City School District graduate inspiring excellence. Congratulations, Jonathan!

May 2012

Congratulations to Nutrition Services Supervisor, Beth Spinks, and elementary schools Big Creek, Brook Park Memorial, Brookview, and Grindstone, for receiving Bronze-level HeathlierUS School Challenge Awards this month. Our schools are among the first in Ohio to achieve recognition in this program.

The HealthierUS Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary certification initiativee stablished in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity. In
February 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama introduced Let's Move!, incorporating the HealthierUS School Challenge into her campaign to raise a healthier generation of kids. At that time, monetary incentive awards became available for each HUSSC award level: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold Award of Distinction.

In congratulating the District's elementary schools on this achievement, the U.S. Department of Agriculture commended them "for the exemplary steps,leadership and team work employed to make changes to their schools' nutrition environment: improve the quality of the foods served; provide students with more nutritious, healthy choices; and enhance their physical activity program.To acknowledge their achievement, the schools will receive a HUSSC award plaque, a banner to display, and a monetary incentive award for meeting HUSSC's criteria. Also, the names of these schools will be proudly added to the HUSSC awardees list on the
Team Nutrition HUSSC website."

May 2012
Jonathan Brunnet, an 8th grader at Ford Middle School was nominated by the President of the Berea American Legion Auxiliary, Sheri Krepelka for the American Legion National Good Deed Award. Jonathan received the national award at the Auxiliary's May meeting for his community service activities through Builder's Club, Boy Scouts, Brook Park Soccer and the American Legion. This is a national award which is given to youth who have volunteered their time in various community activities. In addition to belonging to Ford Middle School Builder's Club, Jonathan, who is a First Class Scout and assistant patrol leader with Boy Scout Troop 610 in Brook Park, has helped the Boy Scouts with their annual Yard Charge and Fall Clean-Up, placed flags on the graves of servicemen for Memorial Day and helps sell flowers for their annual flower sale. He is a member of the Son's of the Legion; is involved with the Junior Auxiliary, and has helped make no-sew fleece blankets for sick children. He has written cards, helped send care packages to a troop the Auxiliary adopted overseas (through Adopt A Platoon). He has also helped make cards and gifts that were sent to military members in the hospital and helps Brook Park Soccer with foot skills and the concession stand on the week-ends.
May 2012

Congratulations to Ford sixth-grader Mandy Lambert (art) and Ford eighth-grader Erica Truong (poetry), for having their work selected among the winners for the 2012 Art, Poetry and Essay Contest sponsored by the Earth Day Coalition. Mandy and Erica were honored, with all the other 2012 contest winners, at EarthFest 2012 last month at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Their work will be on display through June 10 at the Beachwood branch of the Cuyahoga County Library. The display will then move across Cuyahoga County in the coming months.

Earth Day Coalition (EDC) is a nonprofit environmental education and leadership organization serving Northeast Ohio and the nation. EDC was established in 1990 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Earth Day in Ohio

May 2012
Congratulations to the members of the Berea High Boys Track Team, which won the Division 1 district track meet on May 18 in Amherst, finishing with 112 points. (The second place team, Brunswick, had 88 points.) Donovan Robertson had four first place finishes and two meet records; Dan Zupan was the district individual champion in the 1,600; and Vaughn Fultz was the district individual champion in the 400. The top four in each event advance to the regional meet.

In the Berea Relays earlier in the month, Donovan Robertson was the Southwestern Conference Individual Track Champion in the 110 and 300 Meter Hurdles and the 100 and 200 Meter Dash; while Conor McKnight was the Southwestern Conference Individual Track Champion in the 400 Meter Dash, and Kevin Pipkins was the Southwestern Conference Track Champion in the High Jump.
May 2012

Congratulations to Tyline M. Hood (BHS '97), whose book, I Love You So Much, Goodnight, was recently published by Author House. Tyline, whose mother, Lillie Brown, is a retired music teacher for the BCSD, is a writer with more than ten years of successful teaching experience working with children and a Masters of Arts in Educational Administration. With her newest release, she turns her attention to the bedtime story, delivering an inspirational tale of dreaming big. I Love You So Much, Goodnight, is an inspirational bedtime story for children to enjoy, a message that grew out of reading to her own children at night. This story encourages children to believe in themselves while going to bed to face a new day. The story also shares with children that their parents love them and will always encourage them to dream big - which perfectly aligns with the mission of the Berea City School District: helping students to achieve dreams they never imagined possible. Tyline lives in Ohio and likes spending quality time with her family. To learn more about, visit

May 2012Congratulations to Vince DiGennaro (MHS '83), who was recently inducted into the Polaris Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors former Polaris students who have distinguished themselves in their careers and in the community. It also honors outstanding business partners, community organizations and individuals who have given their time, knowledge and expertise to help improve Polaris and its programs. DiGennaro completed his two years in the Polaris Data Processing (now Computer Networking Technology) program and graduated from Midpark High School in 1983. After graduation, he spent the next nine years in customer relations, repair dispatch, and computer operations with Time Warner (the company he was placed in as a Polaris senior) and Cox Communications, before moving into a programming position with Leasing Dynamics Incorporated, a local organization that leased computer hardware.

In 1993, Vince joined the information technology team at Nationwide Insurance and was promoted to IT Director in 1995. With the emergence of Internet technologies, he accepted a position with IBM Global Services and was engaged as a Technical Advisor in Dallas, Texas. In 2002, he returned to the insurance industry, joining Farmers Insurance, where he spent nine years as the Director of Information Technology before accepting his current position of Solutions Architect in the Enterprise Architecture Organization at Progressive Insurance in Mayfield Village. DiGennaro is an IBM Certified Solutions Designer and a former participant in the Farmers Enterprise Talent Program, an initiative designed to groom the next generation of senior level company leaders. He is also extremely active in the community. While at Farmers, he helped create the “Farmers Insurance Future Leaders Development Program,” designed to teach leadership to high school students while providing them with the platform to solicit corporate donations for charities. He is also active in Relay for Life, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, has coached little league baseball for 14 years and is an active volunteer at CYO Camp Christopher in Bath, Ohio.

May 2012

Two Polaris Chef Training teams recently competed in the 2012 National ProStart Invitational Culinary and Restaurant Management Competitions in Baltimore, Maryland. This annual event, which is presented by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), allows students from programs around the nation  to showcase their culinary and academic talents.


Polaris placed third in the Culinary Team event, the highest Polaris has ever placed at the national competition. During this challenge, the Polaris team had 60 minutes to preparea three course meal to a panel of certified chefs and exhibit comprehensive skills in creativity, communication, teamwork, organization, time management, skill level, safety and sanitation. The meal consisted of an Ohio beet salad with fried goat cheese and green goddess dressing, sliced lamb loin with black barley and red Swiss chard; and steamed carrot cake with mascarpone cream. Congratulations to the team, which includes Ian McCaffrey, senior, North Olmsted High School; Stephanie Gaspar, senior, Midpark High School; Ben Moorman, senior, North Olmsted High School; Allison Shoemaker, junior, North Olmsted High School; and Rich DiMauro (alternate), junior, Berea High School. As the third place team, the students were awarded $275,000 in scholarships to several renowned culinary schools.

May 2012

NAMM Foundation Survey Reveals Berea City School District


A ‘Best Community For Music Education’ In The United States

-176 Communities Nationwide Achieve Prestigious Designation;

-166 School Districts and 10 Schools

Achieve Prestigious National Designation-

CARLSBAD, Calif. (April 17,2012) — The NAMM Foundation today announced the results of its 13th annual Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment and support for music education as part of the core curriculum. In all, 176 communities out of 237 that submitted surveys were recognized, including 166 school districts and 10 schools. For the thirteenth time, Berea City School District] in Berea, Ohio has been designated a “Best Community.”

In all, 176 communities out of 237 that submitted surveys were recognized,i ncluding 166 school districts and ten schools. The announcement comes in anticipation of NAMM’s National Wanna Play Music Week, (May 7-13) a weeklong promotion designed to encourage people of all ages and skill levels to experience the proven benefits and fun of playing music.

May 2012

Snow School, on the campus of the Berea Children's Home, invited experts from a wide variety of professions into their classrooms to talk to students about career selection and development. Professionals in engineering, occupational therapy, and law enforcement spent the afternoon giving students "real world" advice on continuing education and how to prepare for the workforce.

5 On Your Side Troubleshooter Joe Pagonakis spoke to students in two classrooms about journalism and the importance of gaining a wide range of skill sets, including computer skills. "I am extremely impressed with the students and staff and Snow School," said Pagonakis. "Students here are destined to do great things. It was an honor to speak to them."


May 2012

Berea High junior, Dan Salzgeber, developed and completed an outstanding Eagle Scout project to feed those in need. He began the first phase of his project, which was to collect food on a "grand scale" across the City of Berea, with volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 226 and 67 Berea High student volunteers. He directed the work force, which distributed bags and flyers that described the project and the food products needed, throughout Berea. Following that, the volunteers then revisited all the homes to collect the donated food, which they had requested to be placed on front porches and lawns of the residences. After five hours of canvassing, the teams had collected 865 bags of donated food --nearly 2.5 tons! All the food was donated to the food pantry at Church Street Ministries. What an amazing success! Said Salzgeber, "Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the volunteers who helped with this project. We have done good work this week; we have changed the community around us - maybe only temporarily - but affected it nonetheless."

April 2012

Congratulations to Grindstone PTA, which was awarded the President's Bronze Award by Ohio PTA, at their annual convention. The Bronze Award is given to the PTA that designs and runs the most creative membership campaign in the state. (From left) Gloria Cazan, Ohio PTA, Grindstone PTA members, April Thomas, Kim Taylor, Kim Dettmer, Jenny Cholley, Ana Chapman, and National PTA President-Elect, Otha Thornton.

Image of Grindstone PTA
April 2012

Congratulations to Berea High 9th grader, Gaby Wiles, and Roehm 8th grader, Michael Herrmann, whose artwork was selected to be on display at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. The exhibition, Cleveland Rocks, features the winners of CLE’s Youth Art Competition in celebration of the 2012 Rock and Roll Induction Ceremony. Gaby's piece is entitled, "Man in the Mirror," and Michael's piece is entitled, "Human Nature." Their artwork will be on display through September.

Art by Gaby Wiles

Gaby Wiles

Art by Michael Herrman

Michael Herrman


April 2012

Congratulations to Ford Middle School 7th graders Zak Magalski, Casey Pearce, and Madison Vargo, who all earned a perfect score of 20 on the Blue Division of the WordMasters List #2 competition, held in December. This is a national language arts competition in which approximately 220,000 students compete annually. Only 57 seventh graders in the United States earned perfect scores on that meet!

Congratulations also to Ford 6th grader Skye Baker and 7th grader Casey Pearce, who both earned a perfect score of 20 on the Blue Division of the WordMasters List #3 competition, held in February. Only 64 sixth graders and 97 seventh graders throughout the US earned a perfect score. 


April 2012

Congratulations to retired staff members, Rhoda Rosen and Elaine Myers, for being chosen to receive the "Outstanding Educator" Award from Baldwin Wallace. First awarded in 2001 and sponsored by the college's Alumni Association and the Division of Education, the Outstanding Educator Awards are presented to BW alumni who have made significant contributions to the field of eduction, both in and out of the classroom. The recipients of this award do more than teach; they inspire! They are role models, friends and mentors. They represent the legions of excellent educators who are charged with molding tomorrow's world through the education of today's students.

Rhoda and Elaine were honored at a special banquet on
April 22. Past recipients of this award from the Berea City School District include Neal Fort, Jill Herrick, Anne Cole, Lynnette Knautz Hesche, Christine W. West, David Lee Tressel, R. Terry Krivak, Thomas M. Jones, and Michael R. Sheppard.

April 2012

Congratulations to MHS Junior Courtney Hegedus who received the honor of being named the 2012 Plain Dealer Girls Bowler of the Year. Courtney earned this honor by finishing 13th at the State Tournament, and was named MVP of the Year in the North Shore Bowling Conference leading the girls with a 206 average. Outstanding!


April 2012

Jane Darrow, gifted services instructor at Berea and Midpark High schools, has been selected as an Adult Mentor on the 2012 US Youth Ambassadors Program in Brazil.  The U.S. Ambassadors Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs and Office of Public Affairs as well as the U.S. Embassy in Brazil.  The Youth Ambassadors Program is administered by World Learning.  The program brings together high school students and adult mentors from 25 countries across the Americas to promote mutual understanding, increase leadership skills, and prepare youth to make a difference in their communities.

April 2012

ABBY RICHARD AND TEODORA NIKOVA (MHS) HAVE BOTH BEEN ACCEPTED AT THE MARTIN W. ESSEX School for the Gifted and Talented at Otterbein University this summer.  The Martin Essex program is a week-long residential summer enrichment experience.  Both students qualified for the selective program based on their applications, recommendations and academic profiles.

April 2012
Congratulations to Elissa Russo (Ford Middle School), Brianna Kalnasy, Lauren Gedeon and Kirsten Iannaggi (Midpark High School) and Lizzie Thomas (Berea High School), who compete with Ultimate Athletics of Ohio, a non-profit competitive cheer and dance program for children of all ages and all abilities from Northeast Ohio. Through their hard work and dedication, these students, along with their teammates, beat many other teams in Columbus and Washington, D. C. to earn the honor of competing in WORLDS at the end of April at Walt Disney World.  Good Luck All!
Dance Team Pic
March 2012

Congratulations to these Roehm students whoparticipated in the 5th Grade Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics (GCCTM) contest in February: Monumental Math team of Noah Buncher and Alexis Gmucs won a Blue Ribbon; Chocolate p team of Katie Hinton, Sophie Kautenburger, Isis Konofal and Natalie Kurek won a Blue Ribbon; The Nerds team of Grace Ducat, Hannah Miu, Rosie Miller and Molly Stackhouse won a Trophy; MathMonsters team of Abby Birchenough, Kay Mikhael, Brendan Rubel and Thai Truong won a Red Ribbon; and Making Math Cool…Zingteam of Zachary Hoessle, Cierra King, Mia Quinones and Matthew Yakimow won a Blue Ribbon. Congratulations also to the Brookview 5th grade teams: Division Dinosaurs team of Sean Gallagher, Lukas Kirsksey, Joshua Radtke and Anthony Ruvulo; 110% teamof Amy Baciak, Ryan Bolin, Jennifer Change and Megan Loeschet; Candymen & 2 Girls team of Colin Newmann, Jacob Green, Kaylee Toliver and Mia Vargo.

The GCCTM 7th & 8th Grade competition was held at Ford Middle School inMarch, and the following student teams were recognized: the Ford 7thgrade team of Zack Boledovic and Tarini Singh earned a medal; Ford 8th grade team of Brianna Scamaldo, Amber Strobel, and Erica Truong earned a medal; and Roehm 7thgrade team of Justin Garibotti, Owen McFetridge, and Tyler Redetzki earned a blue ribbon. Congratulations to all who participated.

March 2012

Congratulations to Berea High senior, Donovan Robertson, who won the indoor 60-meter hurdles in a U.S. high school record 7.57 seconds at the Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle. Two weeks later he won the indoor national title in the same event (7.70). Last June, Donovan defended his outdoor 300-meter hurdles Division I state title and was named Ohio's Gatorade track and field boys' athlete of the year. He will run next year for Ohio State. Read more


March 2012

Three Big Creek students, Samantha Smearman, Andrew Petkac, and Katrina Scheu, will have artwork displayed on the Big Screen Project in New York City in March.  This is part of the Artsonia slideshow being presented.

Big Creek was asked to participate due to the outstanding participation of our Big Creek community on Artsonia.

Saturday, March 3, 10:00 am on Big Screen Plaza

Saturday, March 3, 10:30 am on Big Screen Plaza

Saturday, March 3, 04:30 pm on Big Screen Plaza

Sunday, March 4, 12:00 pm on Big Screen Plaza

Sunday, March 4, 12:30 pm on Big Screen Plaza

Saturday, March 10, 02:30 pm on Big Screen Plaza

Saturday, March 17, 10:00 am on Big Screen Plaza

Saturday, March 17, 10:30 am on Big Screen Plaza

Saturday, March 17, 04:30 pm on Big Screen Plaza

Sunday, March 18, 12:00 pm on Big Screen Plaza

Sunday, March 18, 12:30 pm on Big Screen Plaza


These times may be subject to change.  To view more dates and times as they add to their schedule, you can go to 

-click on Schedule

-type in Artsonia in the Search box and you can find the dates of the slideshow. 


This slideshow was added to youtube. You can view it by going to

The slideshow on youtube has been shortened to fit within their guidelines.


March 2012

On March 3, students from the Berea City School District competed in the Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics 7th and 8th grade math competition, which was held at Ford Middle School. There were 20 teams of each grade level that competed from across Cleveland.  Zack Boledovic and Tarini Singh were on Ford's 7th grade team, and Brianna Scamaldo, Erica Truong, and Amber Strobel were on Ford's 8th grade team, while Tyler Redetzski, Owen McFredridge, and Justin Garibotti competed on Roehm's 7th grade team.  Medals were awarded to the top two teams in each grade level, and blue ribbons were awarded to the 3rd through 6th place teams for each grade level.  Both Ford teams earned medals and the Roehm team earned blue ribbons - great job all!


March 2012

Congratulations to 7th graders Garrett Dort (Ford) and Owen McFetridge (Roehm), who both have qualified to compete in the State Geography Bee on March 30 at the Mansfield Campus of The Ohio State University. Both boys won the school bee at their respective middle schools (Owen was also Roehm's winner last year), and then took a written test to qualify for the State Bee. They will be two of only 100 Ohio students competing in the State Bee.  The State Bee winner will go on to the National Geographic Bee.

February 2012

Congratulations to elementary teachers, Ms. Jennifer Ditz (Big Creek) and Ms. LaVerne Shay Thomas (Grindstone), for successfully renewing their National Board Certification in October. They were originally certified in November of 2001 and are the first teachers in the district to complete this rigorous renewal process.

National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential and it is valid for 10 years. National Board Certification is achieved upon successful completion of a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize effective and accomplished teachers who meet high standards based on what teachers should know and be able to do. The Mission of NBPTS is to advance student learning and achievement by establishing the definitive standards and systems for certifying accomplished educators, providing programs and advocating policies that support excellence in teaching and leading, and engaging National Board certified teachers and leaders in that process. Great teachers are the single most important reason why students reach higher levels of student learning.

February 2012
Img of BHS Student work at Home and Garden Show Jim Bycznski's art students from Berea High School helped create the dwelling façade and the sign for this "Sanford & Son" exhibit at the I-X Center in February. Ken Volpe of Grindstone Landscape Supply in Middleburg Heights used his own 1952 Chevy to decorate his "Sanford and Son" themed garden at the Great Big Home & Garden Expo. Ken's exhibit received an "Honorable Mention".
January 2012
Congratulations to the Ford 8th grade girls' basketball team, which won the Southwestern Conference on January 19
January 2012
Congratulations to Berea High students Brianna Zahir (Red Ribbon), Sarah Wilson (Honorable Mention), Megan Murphy (Blue Ribbon), and Asia Nagy (Blue Ribbon) whose art work was chosen to receive awards in the Cleveland Clinic's eXpressions program recently, and to Berea High student, Emily Truong (Blue Ribbon), whose written piece also received an award.  All the students who received awards were honored at a reception at the Great Lakes Science Center recently, and all the winning pieces are on display there through March.

The Cleveland Clinic eXpressions program, launched in 2005, is an interdisciplinary  initiative that utilizes creativity to engage high school students in the world of scientific research. Through project-based, peer-to-peer learning, students produce interpretations of research studies conducted by Cleveland Clinic science interns.  This past fall, high school students submitted nearly 1,000 paintings, poems, sculptures, videos, essays, and short stories as part of eXpressions. About 10% of these entries were selected for special recognition. As a result, this year's competition was the biggest and toughest yet, according to the Cleveland Clinic Office of Civic Education Initiatives. An esteemed panel of content specialists - ares educators, professional writers and editors, and scientific researchers - evaluated the submissions on four critera: interpretation of research, presentation of ideas, creativity, and initiative. Tied to state and national academic standards, this innovative line of programs gives participants a deeper, real-world understanding of science, art, and language while promoting creativity, innovation, communication, and teamwork. It also gives high school students and their teachers the opportunity to earn college credit from Northeast Ohio universities. 
January 2012
Congratulations to Julianna Brunnet, a sophomore at Berea High School, who took First Place in the High School Division of the "Bake-A-Book Contest at Polaris recently.  Participants in the contest were required to bake and decorate a cake based on a favorite book, and Julianna's winning cake was based on the book, "Up, The Junior Novelization,"  by Jasmine Jones.  This is the second year for this unique and creative contest, and there were 30 students who entered this year, including middle school students for the first time. 
January 2012
Congratulations to Big Creek's Olivia Rentsch, who won, for 4th grade, the most colorful poster for the Plain Dealer's Holiday Rack Card Contest. Her poster was on display at the Plain Dealer in downtown Cleveland over the holidays. She also won two tickets to see Disney's, Dare to Dream Ice Skating show. 
January 2012
Congratulations to Big Creek art teacher, Kathy Jadud, for being selected to receive Artsonia's Annual Leadership Award, an honor extended to teachers from only ten schools per state across the United States. Artsonia is the world's largest online kids' art museum (, and Big Creek Elementary was ranked #2 in the State of Ohio and #5 in the nation.
The Leadership Award presented to Kathy Jadud honors teachers who go beyond the classroom walls to encourage family and community involvement in arts education. The award also recognizes significant achievement in the area of technology integration within the school arts program. During the 2010-2011 school year, the Big Creek Elementary gallery showcased 9220 pieces of artwork. This popular collection of art has been visited more than 471,222 times and has received 2114 comments from friends and family! "Artsonia is a simple yet effective way to get parents and family members more involved in Art Education," says Kathy, "and my students love it!" 
January 2012

Congratulations to Ford Middle School eighth grade students John-Paul Richard and Harguneet Singh, who earned an Honorable Mention Certificate at the 2012 Junior Model United Nations held January 11- 12 at John Carroll University.   They represented the country of Italy on the UN Development Program Committee and were joined by nine other Ford students representing both Italy and the United Kingdom.  Delegates had to complete a Country Profile, and also write a Position Paper on their committee topic.  John-Paul’s topic was Corruption and the Rule of Law, while Harguneet’s was Demining, which is getting rid of landmines throughout the world.  Together, these young men also drafted a resolution that was passed by their committee.  Harguneet also participated in Junior MUN last year.


December 2011 Congratulations to Berea High senior,Shannon Lott, who was chosen as an outstanding high school senior to represent Berea High School in the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Students of Integrity Competition.  The Students of Integrity is an essay-based competition that honors high school students from the BBB’s five county service area who personify ethics through leadership, community service and actions. Three students are awarded $1000 scholarships, and the top essay winner receives $2500. Recognizing that significant adults in a student’s life contribute to their formation of personal ethics and educational success, parents and selected teachers of the essay award winners are also honored. 

Said Shannon,"I try to live each day with an encouraging attitude and lead by example. This has helped me go through my teen years thus far with  no major regrets. I don't have the "cloud of drama" hanging over my life that I see in the lives of countless students at my school; in particular, those students who I work with through Peer Mediation. Though it can be a challenge to offer advice to my peers, it has brought out a passion in me to motivate others to talk out their problems."

For more information, visit


December 2011

Shakita Kabicek placed 17th and earned All-Ohio honors at the Division I State meet in a personal-best 18:39.  She was the Southwestern Conference Champion and placed third at the Strongsville District and ninth at the Tiffin Regional.  Shakita also won the Widewater Invitational and was the Woodridge Invitational runner-up.


To view more information follow this link to the Plain Dealer.


December 2011

Each year, Berea High School students participate in standardized testingopportunities that measure the academic achievement of school-aged participantsacross the United States.  A number of presentBerea High students and recent 2011 graduates have been nationally recognizedby the College Board organization for their achievements on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship QualifyingTest (PSAT/NMSQT) and Advanced Placement Exams. Berea High School proudly announces the following 2011-12 distinguishedstudent accomplishments:


National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalist (scoring among the top 1% of over 1.5million participating students):

William Schwiemann


National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Student (scoring among the top 5% of over 1.5million participating students):

Kaitlyn Caracci

Angela Holecko

Evan Joyce

Gabriela Perry

Nicholas Tatnall

Anna Zamborsky


National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar (scoring among the top 2% of over 235,000 Hispanic/Latinoparticipating students):

Gabriela Perry


National Achievement Scholarship Program Outstanding Participants (scoring among the top 3% of over 160,000Black American participating students):

Xavier Elder

Shannon Lott


Advanced Placement Scholar (scoring a 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams):

Alejandro Chock                     William Schwiemann

Angela Holecko                      Alyce Thompson

Eric Parker                              Steven Wendling

Gabriela Perry                         William Wingler

Emily Poirier                           Anna Zamborsky                   


Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor (average score of at least 3.25 on all APExams taken & scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these AP Exams):

Patrick D 'Agostino                Megan Steinmetz

Angela Holecko                      Alyce Thompson

Ryan Peterkoski                      Anna Zamborsky

William Schweimann                                                                                                 


Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction (average score of at least 3.5 on all APExams taken & scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these AP Exams):

Xavier Elder                            Nelson Laracuente

Anne Fussner                          Yumeng Nie

Anthony Hall                           Steven Roy

Emily Herwerden                     Kelsey Schaefer

Jesse Schuschu

December 2011
Congratulations to Berea High's Donovan Robertson, who was recently presented with a proclamation in the Ohio Senate by Senator Tom Patton.  Donovan was honored in the Senate in recognition of his being named Gatorade Ohio athlete for Spring 2011.  Attending the ceremony with Donovan was his mother, Natalie Dolson, his track coach, Mr. Ryan Nigro, and Berea High Athletic Director, Mr. Bob Cistolo.
November 2011

Congratulations to Midpark student Freddie Assmus and Ford students John-Paul Richard and Zach Boledovic for earning a 2nd Place ribbon for their Lunar Rover at Young Astronaut Day held at NASA Glenn Lewis Research Center on November 5.  Congratulations also to Roehm students Owen Assink and Max Evanko for earning an Honorable Mention ribbon for their Balloon Car.


November 2011

Congratulations to Julianna Brunnet, a sophomore at Berea High School, for being selected to receive the American Legion Auxiliary National Junior Member of the Year Award. Julianna was presented with the award at the District 13 Fall Conference, which was held at Unit 91 in Berea. Julianna won the Award for the State of Ohio in May, and then had her nomination submitted for National Judging.

Some of the activities Julianna participated in as District 13 Honorary Junior Auxiliary President included sending cards and care packages to the troops, making favors for the veterans in the hospital and promoting Units to combine Junior meetings. Julianna also earned her Girl Scout Silver Award by creating a program on Teen Driver Awareness and was named News Sun Student of the Week. She promoted the "Patch Program" and earned several patches herself, including the new Technology Patch. In achieving this patch, she wrote computer tips for the District 13 newsletter explaining how to set up email and Facebook accounts and letting people know how they could take free computer classes at their local libraries.

Julianna's project for this year is to promote March as "Bake and Take Month...Continue the Tradition of Sharing."  "Bake and Take" month has a long tradition in Kansas, beginning in 1970 as a community service project of the Kansas Wheathearts. The project involves baking a homemade treat and delivering it to a variety of people in the community, so Julianna and her mother, Cyndi, are importing the Kansas idea to Ohio and hope that other states will get involved, too.  They have set up a Facebook page ("Bake and Take Month") and encourage people to "like" the page and post what they have done to help promote this idea of showing people you care.  You are encouraged to "bake and take" to your local police, fire fighters, food bank, neighbors, and veterans, and you can also send goodies to our troops overseas. 

October 2011
Congratulations to the Ford Cross Country boys team, which finished its season by participating in the Southwestern Conference Championship. They entered the tournament as the "underdog" team with Roehm, Brecksville, and Westlake as the favorites to win. The Falcons proved that hard work and dedicatio ncan lead to great things, as they placed all five scoring runners in the Top 14 to achieve All-Conference. The team had no idea where they had placed until the final results were announced, and that's when they learned that they had become the Southwestern Conference Champions! This may be the first time that Ford's Cross Country team won the conference championship. The team was led by Sean Peterson, who placed 4th overall; Michael Jankowski, who placed 8th, Sam Cerny who placed 11th, and Mark Belle and Alex Delgado, who placed 13th and 14th respectively. Other team members who contributed to the win were Jacob Rahe, Jacob Finnan, Harguneet Singh, Robert Carney, Miller Buckholz, and Patrick Coughlin.
The girls Cross Country team also did very well, placing 5th overall in the conference. They had two conference All-Americans - the first time in more than 10 years this has been accomplished. Madison Vargo placed 5th overall, and Lauren Peterson placed 10th overall.  They were joined by Jessica King, Jena JacksonGhaelyn Grimes, Kera Drevenak, Jamie Wilson, and Morgan Hapner. All the girls had to endure strong winds and soft ground, yet most of them achieved their personal best times.  
September 2011

Out of hundreds of entries in the “I Have The Power To Stop Violence” Contest, two Snow School students: fifth-grader, Josiah C. and seventh-grader, Jeremiah C., took second place and third place, respectively.  Josiah made a poster and performed a rap as his entry, and Jeremiah made a poster and gave a speech for his entry.  A dinner was held at  Hilton Garden Inn on Carnegie Avenue in Cleveland last Thursday night, 9/22/11, where they both presented their entries and received their prizes, along with standing ovations for both of them! 


September 2011

Congratulations to Big Creek Elementary, which was chosen as next week’s Fox 8 “Cool School of the Week!”  Fox 8 will be filming at Big Creek on Tuesday, and the segment will be featuring on their AM Show at 6:40 a.m. on Thursday, October 6. It will be aired again on Friday, October 7, during the noon news show.


September 2011

Congratulations to Ford Middle School, which was chosen as the Fox 8 “Cool School of the Week” last week. Fox 8 cameras were onsite at Ford on Monday, and they will be featured on Fox 8 on Thursday, September 22 on the morning news and Friday, September 23 on the noon news.


August 2011

Congratulations to Berea High senior, Alejandro Chock, who was chosen to attend the Engineering Summer Academy this summer at The Ohio State University. The academy is an intensive, college-level engineering program worth four college credits. Alejandro, who is enrolled in the Pre-Engineering program at Berea High, is also a recent graduate of the Look Up to Cleveland program, a leadership and public policy institute, and attended Buckeye Boys' State, where he received the Outstanding Citizen Award and was elected "County Engineer."  He is also President of the Speech and Debate team at Berea High.