Callender named new CTE director for Heights High

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District has named Duane (Brad) Callender its new Director of Career Technical Education (CTE) at Cleveland Heights High School.

“I am very excited to welcome Brad Callender to our Tiger Nation family,” said Superintendent Talisa L. Dixon. “Mr. Callender is a highly qualified, innovative educator. He was the clear choice for this position because of his years of experience in career technical education and his commitment to transforming and enhancing our current career tech programs. With the new career tech facilities that are going into the renovated high school, now is a perfect time to ensure that our CTE programming offers the latest and best possible programming for our students. We’re confident that Mr. Callender will help establish our Heights High School CTE offerings as one of the strongest, most up-to-date CTE programs in the region.”

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:28 AM, 06.22.2015

Sustainability in Heights High design is focus of June 16 BOE meeting

The June 16 CH-UH Board of Education work session will focus on sustainable designs in the new high school, including constructing an energy-efficient building and using the building as a teaching tool (known as BaTT). The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Board of Education building.

Laura Steinbrink of HLMS Sustainability Solutions will provide an overview to the board and community on the sustainability goals and individual design concepts that were generated through an integrated design event, called an eco-charrette, last May, and how those ideas have been implemented thus far. The eco-charrette was an all-day session, with attendees from the community, the sustainability working group (SWG), design and construction team and district staff, where concepts were discussed and ideas brought forward to shape the design process with the goal of achieving a sustainable building, as well as identifying areas for sustainable concepts to be integrated into the building’s operations, culture and curriculum.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 12:38 PM, 06.14.2015

BOE approves cost estimate for Heights High reconstruction and announces 'key meetings' timeline

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education approved the design development estimate for the High School Renovation Project at the May 19 board work session. 

The Gilbane & Ozanne construction team that is working on the renovations presented the CHHS Reconstruction Project Design Development Phase estimate, which came in [at] just over $75 million. The board’s approval allows the design team to move forward with next steps. Construction will begin this summer.

Below is a proposed timeline of key meetings that the board has set for the High School Renovation Project. Meetings will take place on Tuesdays, at 7 p.m., at the Board of Education building, with the exception of the June 2 meeting, which will take place in the Heights High Social Room.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:41 AM, 06.01.2015

Heights High math teacher receives regional award

The Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics selected Heights High math teacher Joyce Bukovac as one of three 2014–15 Outstanding High School Mathematics Teachers.

Bukovac teaches AP statistics and probability, statistics, and modeling. She is also chair of the math department. Fred Thomas, instructional specialist for mathematics, said Bukovac is “totally new school” in her use of technology in the classroom, but appreciates the history of the old-school slide rule. Thomas, who nominated Bukovac for the award, said that this award validates her work in the classroom and with her peers.

“Joyce has a very deep knowledge of the content and is excellent at teaching simple concepts, as well as more advanced topics,” he said. “As the leader of the math department at the high school, she leads by example and collaborates with her colleagues. She knows how to keep students engaged.”

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:26 AM, 06.08.2015

Roxboro Elementary celebrates record-breaking fundraiser

The gymnasium at Roxboro Elementary was the site of an “Eye of the Tiger” all-school assembly and pie-throwing event on May 1. Rox El competed against 168 schools in the Jump Rope for Heart event, including schools in Cuyahoga, Lake, Medina, and Geauga counties, earning $10,654.74 for the American Heart Association (AHA).

Vince Nemeth, Rox El physical education teacher and Jump Rope for Heart coordinator, led the assembly, telling students that this was an assembly where being “loud” was “allowed.” “We’re going to rock the house!” shouted Nemeth.

Principal Mike Jenkins, PTA president Erin Gisel and representatives from the American Heart Association applauded the students, parents, teachers and staff for their efforts.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:25 AM, 06.08.2015

Heights students visit Mentor Marsh ecosystem

The Mentor Marsh Ohio Nature Preserve is the perfect place for biology students to learn about the marsh environment and how humans affect the delicate balance of the ecosystem. For 57 students in Janett Korb and Samantha Greene’s Legacy New Tech’s Biology class at Heights High, a May 8 field trip featured information about the invasive species Garlic Mustard and the plant’s effect on the butterfly population.

Part of the class visit featured a discussion with Mentor Marsh Naturalist Becky Donaldson. She explained that the non-native Garlic Mustard plant has displaced native spring wildflowers that provided food for three butterfly species. To help eliminate the Garlic Mustard plant, the students pulled the plant from a section of the park area. Students also collected and examined macroinvertebrates which can indicate water quality.

The field trip is part of the “Heights Goes Green” biology project in Korb and Greene’s class. “This project teaches students about the human impact on our ecosystem and explores ways to reduce the impact,” said Korb.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:25 AM, 06.08.2015

Heights High musicians select colleges and majors

This year's graduates of Cleveland Heights High School will be attending some of the nation’s best music schools in the fall. 

Heights High's outstanding music students were well-prepared for the competitive auditions that secured the coveted spots. Through the high school's music program, students perform a challenging repertoire and are provided with opportunities to play in the school’s orchestras, bands, jazz ensembles and small chamber groups. 

The following 2015 graduates have plans to major in music performance or composition: Maya Fields at Eastman School of Music, Eli Kauffman at University of Pittsburgh, Mason Spencer at Indiana University Bloomington, Celia van den Bogert at University of Michigan, and Ann Zicari at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. Ian Bartz and Arsean Cox plan to minor in music.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 6:25 PM, 05.28.2015

Retiring special education coordinator honored

Holly Munoz, coordinator of special education for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, was honored on May 15 for her accomplishments in working with students with disabilities and special needs. 

Jeff Johnston, director of student services for the CH-UH district, nominated Munoz for the Outstanding Educator Achievement Award, bestowed by the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County (ESC-CC) and State Support Team Region 3.

“Dr. Munoz is most deserving of this prestigious award. Her passion for serving students with disabilities inspires me every day,” said Johnston. “She is an energetic leader with a deep knowledge of instructional practice. She is fearless when it comes to making changes and adapting our educational programs to fit the needs of our students. As she approaches her retirement in June, I can think of no better way to recognize her remarkable career.”

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 6:23 PM, 05.28.2015

Heights High ceremony honors past, looks to the future

The Heights High farewell ceremony and groundbreaking on May 12 brought together alumni, current students, families, community members and staff to honor the school’s history and look forward to a bright future. The future of Heights High includes a renovated building at the current site, with construction to begin this June.

The ceremony included a welcome by Superintendent Talisa L. Dixon, and comments by Dennis Wilcox, Cleveland Heights mayor; Zoraba Ross, principal; Eric Silverman, board of education member and alumni foundation president; and Gary Balog, lead architect.

Will Pritts, a Heights High junior, introduced the video he produced, featuring interviews with alumni, and historic photos and film clips.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 6:20 PM, 05.28.2015

Heights High Flea to benefit Class of 2016

The junior class at Cleveland Heights High School will host a flea market on June 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Monticello Middle School, 3665 Monticello Blvd. Vendors will sell items that include hand-crafted jewelry, antiques, vintage clothing, furniture and salvage, collectibles, baked goods and much more. 

The parents and students in the class of 2016 are raising funds for their senior prom, after-prom party and other senior class activities.

For more information or to reserve a vendor space, contact Valerie Moreland, at or 216-316-7272.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 11:14 AM, 05.18.2015

CH-UH athletic director Hughes accepts position at alma mater Smith College

Kristin Hughes, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District’s director of athletics, is resigning to accept the position of Director of Athletics for Smith College in Northampton, Mass. Hughes received her Master of Science in exercise and sports studies from Smith, and will be returning to her alma mater to oversee the college’s athletics program, beginning in July.  

“This has been a very difficult decision,” said Hughes. “The CH-UH school district means so much to me. It has been an ideal home and community for me and my family, and I truly cherish the people I have been so fortunate to work with. The professionals in our Heights schools have motivated me to work hard and raise the bar for our athletes. Tiger Nation is a very special place. I knew that it would take a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make me even consider leaving, but that’s what has come about. I am very excited about the challenges that await me at Smith College, but I will always have a special place in my heart for the students, staff, families and residents of Tiger Nation.”

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 3:18 PM, 05.16.2015

Roxboro Middle named IB World School

Roxboro Middle School has been authorized to become an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for the three-year Middle Years Programme (MYP).

The IB program, which is implemented in more than 4,000 schools worldwide, emphasizes rigorous study and a focus on providing relevance within a global context. The MYP curriculum includes eight subject groups, encouraging students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world. There are currently 544 schools in the U.S. that offer the IB MYP.

“We are thrilled to become an authorized IB World School. The IB distinction will provide our capable staff with the tools necessary to teach students to one day become caring, thoughtful leaders in the Heights community and out in the world,” said Patrick McNichols, Roxboro Middle School principal.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 3:18 PM, 05.16.2015

Gearing up for future healthcare careers

Juniors in the Heights High Clinical Health Careers (CHC) class wear personal protective equipment in preparation for their clinical experience at HealthSpan on Severance Circle. “Learning the proper way to apply, use and take off the protective equipment is just one of the skills that students learn before the clinical rotations,” said Nancy Ballou, R.N., CHC teacher.

The CHC program is housed at the Delisle Center and features a lab for practicing the procedures and skills needed for real-world clinical settings.

The clinical experience is an opportunity for students to put the skills they have learned in the lab to use in the field, as they work with clients and medical professionals for 2.5 hours a day for four weeks.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 1:10 PM, 05.01.2015

Third annual RoxEl Run is May 30

A sobering reality is that today’s young people are often sedentary in front of computer screens and eating processed food, a combination that may lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. Parents often struggle to keep healthy, active options and exciting alternatives available to their children. Organizers at Roxboro Elementary School hope to combat this trend by hosting the third annual RoxEl Run, a community foot race, on Saturday, May 30, at 9 a.m., to encourage young people to “run like it’s recess,” and adopt a healthier lifestyle. 

The original goal of the event was to introduce running and fitness to students in grades K–5, but it has evolved to become a wider community event for students, parents, teachers, neighbors, and competitive runners from Greater Cleveland. sobering reality is that today’s young people are often sedentary in front of computer screens and eating processed food, a combination that may lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. Parents often struggle to keep healthy, active options and exciting alternatives available to their children. Organizers at Roxboro Elementary School hope to combat this trend by hosting the third annual RoxEl Run, a community foot race, on Saturday, May 30, at 9 a.m., to encourage young people to “run like it’s recess,” and adopt a healthier lifestyle. 

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 4:26 PM, 04.30.2015

Meet Heights High's coordinator of safety and security

A conversation with Bryan Loretz, coordinator of safety and security at Cleveland Heights High School and for the CH-UH district:

The work: We patrol and monitor the building and property, diffuse escalating situations, connect to students to encourage their best behavior, mediate conflict between students, and provide security for athletic and other school events.

The team: There are 15 security monitors at Heights High who work during the school day and at evening events. All of the team members have the following certifications: Private Security Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy, first aid, automatic external defibrillator and C.P.R. They recently received certification in National Incident Management Systems and Incident Command Systems and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention.


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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 4:10 PM, 04.30.2015

Major construction at Heights High to begin in June

After years of planning, meetings and passage of Issue 81, construction is slated to begin this June on a comprehensive renovation of Cleveland Heights High School. All of the additions made since 1926 will be removed and the original historic core will be renovated.

The most dramatic change will be removal of the Science Wing and the return of the front lawn. The façade will be restored to its original appearance. A hybrid geothermal system will be located under the East Field.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 4:04 PM, 04.30.2015

Beaumont students receive 38 science fair awards

Sixteen Beaumont School students demonstrated their aptitude in science and engineering and were awarded 38 accolades during the annual Northeast Ohio Science and Engineering Fair and the University of Akron’s BEST Medicine Engineering Fair in March.

At the Northeast Ohio Science and Engineering Fair’s award ceremony on March 12, senior Grace Mascha was named one of four high school grand prize winners, the fair’s highest honor. Her project, entered in the biological science category, studied indecisiveness and its effect on one’s self-esteem. In May, Mascha will represent Northeast Ohio at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest pre-college science competition, in Pittsburgh.

Twelve Beaumont students were recognized at the award ceremony, held at Cleveland State University (CSU).

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 11:24 AM, 04.30.2015

State association honors two CH-UH BOE members

The Ohio School Board Association (OSBA) honored two Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education members during the April 7 board meeting.

Ron Register, board of education vice president, was presented with the OSBA Award of Achievement.

The Award of Achievement is given to school board members to recognize their commitment to training and leadership activities for their fellow board members, along with regional and state OSBA activities. Out of more than 3,400 board members in Ohio, only 58 were selected to receive this honor in 2015.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 11:20 AM, 04.30.2015

Ladies of Leadership club welcomes women in law

On March 16, the Ladies of Leadership club (LOL) at Roxboro Middle School heard inspiring stories from two women in law. The goal of LOL is to assist middle school-age girls with developing self-esteem, enhancing their global perspective and fulfilling civic responsibilities.

Falisa Berry, an investigator from the Cleveland Heights Juvenile Diversion Program, and Tiffany Hill, assistant law director, shared their backgrounds with the students.

Hill said she considered herself a “nerd” who balanced a well-rounded social and academic life while growing up. She said her middle school study habits played a huge role in her later academic success. Hill empathized with today’s high stakes testing and shared her experience taking the two-and-a-half day Ohio Bar Examination.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 11:19 AM, 04.30.2015

World languages enrich lives of Heights High students

At Cleveland Heights High School, many students are preparing for success by becoming multilingual. Speaking more than one language can give students an advantage in employment, travel opportunities and the ability to connect to people from other cultures.

This is part of the school district’s vision: Preparing All Students for Success in a Global Economy (PASSAGE). This goal recognizes that the world is increasingly interconnected.

“Students who are learning more than one language are training their brains to recognize patterns in languages,” said David Stewart, chair of the world languages department. “That makes it easier for them to learn several languages.” Stewart is also one of the American Sign Language (ASL) teachers.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 11:14 AM, 04.30.2015

CH-UH middle school students earn awards at Model U.N. event

Roxboro and Monticello Middle schools earned several top awards at the Junior Ohio Model United Nations in Columbus, March 15–17.

At the event, some 1,000 students presented and debated more than 150 resolutions while dressed in costumes evoking the traditional clothing of the countries they represented.

The CH-UH district’s delegations were Antigua and Barbuda, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, from Monticello Middle School; and Botswana, Guatemala, Samoa and Serbia, from Roxboro Middle School.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 11:15 AM, 04.30.2015

Mac Stephens is new CHHS head football coach

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, with the help of a volunteer search committee, selected Mac Stephens as its new head football coach, from 51 applicants. He replaces Jeff Rotsky, who recently accepted the head football coach position for Euclid.

A former NFL player, Stephens has 12 years of experience coaching high school football. Most recently, Stephens served as the defensive line/outside linebacker coach for Euclid High School (2008–14). He was also defensive line/defensive coordinator for Glenville High School (2006–07), linebacker coach for Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School (2005), assistant offensive line coach for Euclid High School (2004), and head coach of Lutheran High School East (2003).

Currently, Stephens serves as the director of recreation for the City of Euclid—a position he’s held since 2004, and he is also president of North Coast Youth Football Conference. Stephens coaches Amateur Athletic Union track and basketball at the middle school level.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 10:31 AM, 04.21.2015

Heights High alumni hosting annual pancake breakfast April 19

The Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation will host its 19th annual Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, April 19, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Heights High. The event is open to the public and will feature tours of Heights High, which will run until 2 p.m. With major renovations planned for the school in the coming months, this will be the last pancake breakfast that will be held at Heights High in its current form.

Proceeds from the all-you-can-eat breakfast will benefit scholarship programs for Cleveland Heights High School seniors. Last year, more than 500 alumni, students, family and friends attended the breakfast.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.07.2015

Families invited to Kindergarten Information Night April 16

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District will host its annual Kindergarten Information Night on Thursday, April 16, 6:30–8:30 p.m. at Oxford Elementary School, 939 Quilliams Road.

The district will provide information on kindergarten readiness, kindergarten curriculum and related services, and parents will have an opportunity to learn about before- and after-school programs, student services, food service and transportation. Kindergarten registration information will also be provided.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 10:59 AM, 04.07.2015

Heights High architects to present latest design March 24

The design team working on the Cleveland Heights High School renovation project will present the latest high school design drawings to Board of Education (BOE) members on Tuesday, March 24, 7 p.m., at the BOE work session meeting at the Delisle Options Center. The board encourages comments and questions from the community following the presentation.

The meeting also will feature renderings of the proposed gateway building and rear portions of the new high school. The gateway building will serve as an entryway into the athletic field and stadium at the high school. In addition, the design team will update the board on the overall project budget.

The high school project is still in the design development phase—the phase where the architects and engineers prepare drawings and other presentation documents to crystallize the design concept and describe it in terms of architectural, electrical, mechanical and structural systems, and the overall budget cost.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 12:58 PM, 03.23.2015

Community input sought for school district's strategic planning survey

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District's Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) is seeking community input on the district’s future. Heights residents, community members, parents and alumni of the district are invited to provide input by taking a brief survey, which should take less than 15 minutes to complete.

CH-UH staff members and students will receive a link to a separate survey and are requested not to take this survey. 

Heights residents are also invited to attend a community meeting on Wednesday, March 4 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Heights High Social Room. Childcare will be provided by Family Connections and light refreshments will be served. The district requests that residents RSVP online. 

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 12:30 PM, 03.04.2015

Heights High class connects with Ebola workers in Africa

“You never know what will happen when you send a thank you note,” said Heights High English teacher Courtney White. In December, three of her classes sent thank you notes to Ebola medical workers in Africa, thanking the caregivers for their service and asking about their motivation to do the work.

White sent the letters to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and never expected to get a reply from busy medical crisis workers.

Then, on Feb. 9, said White, the most amazing thing happened. “We received heartfelt notes from the CDC Ebola Response Team in Sierra Leone—written on the back of a big Ebola incidence map.”

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:30 AM, 03.31.2015

Behind the scenes with Heights High's head custodian

A conversation with Dennis Dadich, head custodian, Cleveland Heights High School:

What we do: There are two teams in our department—maintenance and cleaning. The maintenance staff includes three custodians, two laborers and one utility tradesman, who work in two shifts, maintaining and repairing equipment in the building. We operate and maintain the heating system with five boilers. We maintain and repair just about everything in the building: doors, windows, floors, walls, plumbing, furniture, electrical and the swimming pool. In the winter, snow removal is a big part of our job.

The cleaning crew includes 14 staff members who work in two shifts to keep our building safe and looking good.


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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:26 AM, 03.31.2015

Middle schools compete in Regional Science Olympiad

Roxboro and Monticello middle schools represented the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District in the Regional Science Olympiad at Case Western Reserve University on Feb. 21. Roxboro’s team placed eighth in the event, earning the team a spot in the state tournament, to be held April 11 at The Ohio State University in Columbus. This will be the fourth time Roxboro Middle School has qualified for the state tournament. Monticello Middle School’s team of intrepid scientists competed among 25 of the best teams in the state, earning 19th place overall.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 3:07 PM, 04.05.2015

Trout in the classroom lets kids take a journey with the fish

Picture about 100 fish eggs arriving by overnight express on a petri dish. What could come of this?    

Rainbow trout, actually. They will grow in a fourth-grade classroom at Communion of Saints School in Cleveland Heights, but the experience will enrich the whole school.

Trout in the Classroom is an environmental education program for students in grades K–12. The students will raise the trout from eggs. They will test the water quality of the tank daily, while learning about stream habitat, ecosystems and conservation. At the end of the school year, the trout will be released in a state-approved stream or watershed.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 6:45 PM, 03.30.2015

Swim Cadets show made a big splash

The 2015 Heights High Synchronized Swimming Swim Cadet Show (March 5–7) featured 13 student-choreographed routines by the club’s 16 members, including the routine performed by club officers Maya Hubbard, Arden Dyer, Sarah Lentz, Julianna Clark and Grace Peppler (left to right in the photo).

This year’s show was the last one that will take place in the current pool. Beginning this June, the school will be closed for two years while the building is renovated. Students will attend school at the Wiley campus, and will return to the high school at Cedar and Lee roads in the fall of 2017.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 6:42 PM, 03.30.2015

Heights High students learn to use discussion to address racism

Cleveland Heights High School students in the Lessons of the Holocaust class and Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) club have been engaging in candid conversations about identity and the role of race in society. These conversations have been happening in the classroom, during meetings and at five facilitated discussions with other students and adults.

Mark Sack teaches the Lessons of the Holocaust class and David Peake is the MSAN club advisor.

On Feb. 23, the students attended a YWCA-sponsored “Time to Talk” event at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Cleveland. The forum participants included more than 300 adults from Cleveland-area businesses and organizations, seven students from Heights High and seven students from Shaker Heights High School.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 6:38 PM, 03.30.2015

Exchange year in Japan provides global perspective

Heights High senior Emoni Brown-Bey returned from an 11-month American Field Service (AFS) foreign exchange experience in Japan in mid-February, and sophomore Molly Fleischer left for Japan in early March.

Brown-Bey’s exchange year was “an amazing experience,” she said, as she returns to Heights High for a final semester before graduating.

During Brown-Bey's time in Japan, she lived with a host family in a small rural community and attended high school. She learned to speak Japanese, make sushi, ride a public train and budget her own money. She saw Mount Fuji, visited Tokyo Disneyland, hiked in the mountains and toured historic Shinto shrines and beautiful gardens.

While many things are different in Japan, she said she also experienced many of the universal themes in human life—family love, teenage friends, food and art.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 10:34 AM, 03.24.2015

Heights High to host annual Northeast Suburban College Fair on March 19

Cleveland Heights High School will host the 21st Annual Cleveland Northeast Suburban College Fair on Thursday, March 19, 7–8:30 p.m., in the Heights High Cafeteria and Social Room.

The fair is open to all local public, private and parochial students and their families, and admission is free. Students will have the opportunity to meet admissions officers, guidance staff, and alumni representatives from more than 100 colleges, universities and technical schools, to learn about student life on campus, programs and majors, careers, admissions and financial aid. 

“The college fair gives students a chance to begin the very important task of planning their futures,” said Michelle Phelps, career education coordinator at Heights High.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:29 AM, 03.17.2015

Community meeting generates ideas for school district's next five years

Nearly 70 people participated in a Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) community meeting on March 4, in the Heights High Social Room. For nearly two-and-a-half hours, parents, students, teachers and staff provided ideas about how to plot the future of the district’s next five years.

Parents, community members and alumni who weren't able to attend to March 4 meeting can contribute to the planning by taking this online survey by March 22. [Separate surveys for students and teachers/staff also will be shared in March.]

“Everyone had an opportunity to share their hopes and dreams for the district,” stated Jane Harris, SPC member. “Anyone who couldn't be here [at the March 4 meeting] should take the online survey.”

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 12:02 PM, 03.10.2015

CHHS drama students perform Agatha Christie's 'The Mousetrap' Feb. 4–7

Heights High’s drama department will perform Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” Feb. 4–7, 7 p.m., in the high school auditorium. The popular murder mystery features unexpected plot twists and turns. “This play is enormously entertaining,” said David Jurns, CHHS theater teacher, and the play’s director and producer.

The play is set in an English Victorian guesthouse (bed-and-breakfast) in 1952. There are eight actors in the show, and the production will feature two casts, each performing for two nights.

“The students are having a wonderful time with this story,” said Jurns. “They are enjoying learning the accents and performing a show that pulls viewers in and then deliver a wonderful surprise."

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 12:58 PM, 02.02.2015

Community conversation on public education continues March 24

The Heights Coalition for Public Education will hold its third community conversation, The Myth of Failing Students, on March 24 at 7 p.m. in the Social Room at Heights High. The event will explore the failure of state and federal testing and accountability policy to improve student achievement and to address many of the issues that are part of the education equation.

The public is invited to participate in this free community event. Local public education advocates and educators will report on the complex issues that affect students and schools.  

Co-sponsors of the public event include the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union AFT Local 795, CH-UH PTA Council, Reaching Heights and FutureHeights.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 10:35 AM, 02.27.2015

Two Heights High singers perform with OMEA All-State Choir

Heights High students Arianna Murray and Johnna Marotta represented the CH-UH City School District at the Ohio Music Educators Association (OMEA) on Feb. 6. Murray and Marotta performed at the Cleveland Convention Center with the OMEA All-State Choir. More than 1,000 students from across Ohio auditioned for the choir, but only 81 students were selected for this honor.

Murray and Marotta had competed in the OMEA Solo and Ensemble Competition on Jan. 24, and both students received the highest possible score of Superior in the soloist competition. Two other students, Michael Carder and Ian Teunissen, were also selected for the choir, but could not attend the performance because of other vocal music obligations.

“I am so very proud of all four of the musicians,” said Craig McGaughey, Heights High vocal music director. “Performing with a group of this caliber is a great experience for students. Arianna and Johnna came back to school full of energy and enthusiasm for performing.”

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 10:32 AM, 02.27.2015

CHHS student artists win awards

Four Cleveland Heights High School juniors have won awards in two separate art competitions.

Hannah Smith received a Gold Key award for her charcoal drawing and Nih’jel Jones received an Honorable Mention for his coiled ceramic vessel in the 2015 Cuyahoga County Scholastic Art Competition. The local competition is part of the National Scholastic Art Competition. Smith and Jones were selected from more than 3,000 entrants from approximately 100 middle and high schools in Cuyahoga County. Each student whose work was selected for display received an award of Honorable Mention, Silver Key or Gold Key.

Gold Key award winners continue to the national competition held this spring in New York City, and are eligible for college scholarships. The awards were announced on Dec. 19 and winning pieces were on display at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 10:15 AM, 02.24.2015

CH-UH resident educators all pass performance assessment

Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District’s fourth-year resident educators all recently passed the Resident Educator Summative Assessment (RESA)—a rigorous performance assessment that asks resident educators to showcase their teaching progress and demonstrate its impact on student achievement. All 14 of the district’s resident educators passed all five tests for a district passage rate of 100 percent.

In the state of Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Education, “about 56 percent of the 3,218 candidates who were registered as RESA candidates last year submitted all five tasks, and 67 percent of those candidates passed all five.” 

“I am so proud of the district’s resident educators and their facilitators,” said Talisa L. Dixon, CH-UH superintendent. “A district passage rate of 100 percent is truly an accomplishment to celebrate. Not only did all of the residents register as RESA candidates, compared to only 56 percent statewide; they all passed, compared to only 67 statewide. I would like to congratulate each of the resident educators—Traci Adeen, Ben Ammon, Patrick Carpenter, Nicole Clouser, James Davies, Karen Faletic, Takisha Jackson, Emily Kairis, Max Kravitz, Tai Kuei-Fang, Josh Luton, Markita Thompson, Tracey Tyrrell and Keith Vance.  Bravo to each of you!”

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:58 AM, 02.17.2015

Middle school students win awards in creative writing competition

Roxboro and Monticello middle school students took home several awards at the Power of the Pen district tournament on Jan. 10.

More than 200 seventh- and eighth-grade writers from the greater Cleveland area participated in the district-level creative writing competition held at Monticello Middle School.

Roxboro's Sophie Fleischer won first place and Best of Round 2 for seventh-graders, and Monticello’s Suvedini Ainkaran won Best of Round 2 for eighth-graders. The Roxboro seventh-grade team took fourth place overall.

Other district students who placed in the competition were:

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 2:07 PM, 02.16.2015

CHHS athletes commit to colleges on National Signing Day

At Heights High’s National Signing Day event on Feb. 4, senior student athletes officially announced the names of the colleges they will attend next year. National Signing Day is the first day that Class of 2015 high school recruits can sign binding letters of intent with college programs.

In all, 10 Heights High seniors signed letters of intent. Their coaches introduced the students, each of whom then spoke about their high school careers and the many adults at the school who supported them. The students also thanked their families, who joined them on the stage.

Kristin Hughes, CHHS athletic director, welcomed the audience, comprised of the families and teammates of the student athletes.


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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 10:13 AM, 02.10.2015

Senior soloists featured at Heights High Midwinter Concert

The breadth of the instrumental music program at Cleveland Heights High School will ring loud and clear at the Midwinter Concert when two senior soloists take the stage. The performance takes place on Friday, Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m., at the school's Dina Rees Evans Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults, and are available the day of the show.

Eli Kauffman will perform his own composition, Piano Concerto #1, with Symphonic Winds, and violist Mason Spencer will perform Bartok’s Viola Concerto with Heights High Symphony.

Kauffman characterizes his piece as modern classical with jazz influences. He began work on it last year, and continued to make minor changes as he rehearsed it with the 45 members of Symphonic Winds. He started composing during his sophomore year.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:57 PM, 01.29.2015

Heights Perelman selected for All-Ohio soccer team

Heights High senior soccer player and team captain Zander Perelman is one of 18 players selected for the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association’s All-Ohio Soccer Team—an honorary designation chosen by division 1 (large school) coaches. also selected him for its 2014 All Star Team.

“Zander is a shining example of the student-athlete,” said Sean Sullivan, Heights High soccer coach. “He brings sportsmanship, integrity and competitiveness to the field every day.” He also put the ball in the net 57 times, scoring in every game of this past season and breaking the team record of 30 goals in a season.

“I like the feeling of scoring—the excitement of that is like nothing else,” said Perelman. “Playing striker lets me be involved in most plays and make a difference for the team.”

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 5:51 PM, 01.29.2015

CHHS swim team hosts final competition in current pool

The Saturday, Jan. 31 Heights High home swim meet is a big one. It is the final competition that will take place in the school’s 1962 vintage pool. The next time the team competes on the high school’s Cedar and Lee campus, it will be in a brand-new pool.

The meet, to be held at 3 p.m., is also senior night, when each senior is honored and the competing team, West Geauga, partners with Heights to raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the event will be the generosity of the teams, collaborating to benefit cancer research. For the past five years, the two teams have coordinated the fundraising event and raised an average of $1,000 each year.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 10:32 AM, 01.27.2015

CH-UH kindergarten and preschool open houses set for early February

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District invites Heights residents to attend its kindergarten and preschool open houses on Feb. 3 (and one on Feb. 4), to learn about enrolling their children.  

All district elementary schools and Gearity Professional Development School preschool, will host open houses on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 9:30–11:15 a.m.

Noble Elementary School preschool will host its open house a day later, on Feb. 4, 9:30–11:15 a.m.

The open houses provide an opportunity for families to learn about each school’s curriculum and programs.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:53 AM, 01.27.2015

District votes to place 2015 operating levy on May ballot

[Editor’s note: The Heights Observer received the following news release from the CH-UH City School District on Jan. 22, describing the district’s plans to place an operating levy on the May ballot.]

Citing the need to protect academic progress and avoid additional, significant cuts, the CH-UH Board of Education (BOE) has approved the second and final reading necessary to place a 5.9-mill operating levy on the May 2015 ballot. The reading took place at the Jan. 20 board work session, where Scott Gainer, district CFO, and Jane Geneva, Lay Finance Committee (LFC) chair, provided a recap of a report that was presented in December, and responded to additional questions from the board.

Geneva stated, “After a lengthy, thorough review of district finances and projections, two things are very clear. First, the district has made careful use of our community’s funds, has reduced costs, and continues to find ways to economize while protecting classroom education from budget cuts. Second, because of the way that Ohio funds its schools, the district must pursue additional operating funds this year, or we will face major cuts that will impact the classroom, and we would face a much larger need for operating funds next year.”


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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 4:38 PM, 01.22.2015

Local middle school students join model UN event at JCU

More than 60 students from Roxboro and Monticello middle schools attended a two-day United Nations simulation at John Carroll University in January. The Cleveland Council on World Affairs (CCWA) organized the event, in which Roxboro finished first in the large school division and both schools brought home certificates of recognition and awards.

For its first-place finish, Roxboro will receive an engraved cup at CCWA’s annual meeting in June. Monticello Middle School finished second in the smaller school division.

The delegates worked hard to prepare for the simulation, researching and completing a country profile, as well as developing a position paper on specific topics for delegates to use in committee sessions. With help from teachers Deborah Frost, Janet Lechleitner, John Powaski and Anthony Provenzale, CH-UH students joined more than 200 students, from nine middle schools, to represent 47 countries.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:59 AM, 01.20.2015