DECEMBER 2016-= Greenhills Librarian
Winton Woods City Schools presented its December Community Spirit Award to Greenhills Children’s Librarian Amy Charley at the December 12 meeting. “Imagine being able to light up the faces of students the minute you walk into a classroom,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith in his award presentation. “That’s what happens when Amy Charley visits our Wee Warriors at Winton Woods Primary North and South. The students know that Ms. Charley will introduce them to new people, help them visit new places and teach them about our world—all through the books she brings to read.”
For more than five years, Charley has visited classrooms and stopped by at the end of the school year to promote reading through the library’s summer reading program. “As educators, we are grateful for the additional support that this program provides for our students when school is not in session,” said Smith.
Charley also helps school librarians coordinate their teacher collections through the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County and has arranged for free author visits. “Our primary school librarians, principals and classroom teachers all expressed their happiness that Ms. Charley was receiving this award,” said Smith. “The time she spends with our students has a wonderful impact on their learning and their imaginations.”
NOVEMBER 2016 - General Electric
For years, students at both Winton Woods High School and Middle School have benefited from the time and expertise donated by engineers from General Electric Evendale who serve as mentors, advisory committee members and even classroom teachers. Engineers Bryan Barrett and Daniel Lang were honored at the November board of education meeting with the district’s Community Spirit Award.
Myrtis Smith, Project Lead the Way engineering teacher at Winton Woods High School, said that since 2009 she’s welcomed Barrett’s input in his role as a member of her advisory board. “The board consists of industry people who help set the direction of the program and who meet two or three times a year,” she said. “They provide speakers, arrange field trips, mentor, give advice on resources such as grants, programs or competitions and provide input on program decisions.”
Lang has volunteered his time in Smith’s classroom, coming to school one day a week to work with members of her robotics team, helping them prepare for the Great Oaks annual robotics competition. There students are tasked with designing, building and programming a robot. “Mr. Lang is a wonderful resource and has been an awesome mentor beyond the club by helping students with projects and college and career questions,” said Smith.
Michael DeMain, math teacher at Winton Woods Middle School, is in the fourth year of a partnership with General Electric through the company’s Igniting Minds program. The program’s mission is to help improve students’ grasp of math and science by providing hands-on opportunities that will increase their interest in these subjects. “Each year the engineers have worked with the students on math activities and projects, while helping them see themselves in STEM careers like engineering or computer technology,” said DeMain. Last year GE presented DeMain with a grant check for $2,900 that was used to purchase a laptop and software so students are able to see geometry in a three-dimensional application and better understand geometric concepts.
Superintendent Anthony G. Smith said, “Winton Woods City Schools is grateful for General Electric’s support of project-based learning in our schools and for their engineers’ hands-on involvement in our classrooms. The time they have spent volunteering with us has significantly impacted the future of our students.”
OCTOBER 2016 - McDonald's
Since 2012, Winton Woods Primary South has held McTeacher Night at the neighborhood McDonald’s restaurant on Winton Road in Springfield Township. This annual school fundraiser has teachers and staff working behind the counter, at the drive-thru and in the restaurant.
For their efforts, over $2,000 has been donated to the school for classroom supplies and student incentives for Primary South’s Bucket Boutique. At the boutique, students who demonstrate positive behaviors have monthly shopping opportunities. Proceeds from this year’s McTeacher Night, which happened in September, will help fund the school’s spring carnival. “Our staff and student body are grateful to McDonald's for their continued collaboration and support,” said Principal Danielle
Winton Woods City Schools thanked Owner Bill Kilroy, General Manager Casey Wilson, and Springfield Township Supervisor Bev Turner for their continued generosity in supporting the district’s students and teachers. “Your contributions directly impact the educational support that our students receive,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith.
SEPTEMBER 2016 - Cincinnati Police Federal Credit Union
Since 2014 Winton Woods City Schools has enjoyed a financial education partnership with the Cincinnati Police Federal Credit Union. The company’s employees have volunteered both their time and financial resources to support the district’s students, staff and families in a variety of ways. CPFCU was honored at the September board of education meeting with the district’s Community Spirit Award.
CPFCU recently sponsored two sessions of Finances 101 at Winton Woods High School, where students played the Game of Life, which emphasized how earnings impact buying decisions, how to set a budget, how much it really costs to run a household, and how to spend within one’s means. Students traveled through a life-sized game board where they were assigned a career and a salary and rolled the dice to determine the number of children they’d have. Along the way, they had to figure out how they would pay for rent, food, insurance, car payments, and life’s little surprises.
CPFCU has also donated $4,000-$4,500 annually to the district through contributions to the Winton Woods High School Special Education Department, the alternative school’s College Fair, and the district’s new teacher orientation.
“Our financial partnership with CPFCU allows students to join the credit union and free services are provided for all student accounts,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. “Additionally, the credit union awards scholarships each year to high school seniors who display academic excellence and involvement in community service. In 2015 Winton Woods graduate Sarai Dean was awarded $1,000 per year for four consecutive years of study at Northern Kentucky University.
“We are grateful for the ways CPFCU has supported Winton Woods students, and we applaud its members for their generous service to our district.”
SEPTEMBER 2016 - McKelvey Rd Baptist Church
Pastor Bob Singleton, Assistant Pastor Rick Schroer and the congregation of McKelvey Road Baptist Church in Springfield Township were honored with Winton Woods City Schools’ Community Spirit Award for “embracing the idea of community service through their volunteer work with the students of our district,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. The award was presented at the September 26 board of education meeting.
When asked why he donated his time, Singleton said he “recognized the need for the church to be involved in the school system.” He and his church members have helped at the Open House at Winton Woods Primary North and often sit outside of classrooms tutoring students in math and reading, “We’re grateful that the volunteers from McKelvey Road Baptist Church have generously given their time and attention to our youngest Warrior learners,” said Smith. “They understand the power of academic success and support our mission to actively engage and challenge all learners to reach their maximum potential.”
August 2016 - United Way Success By 6
A continuing collaboration between Winton Woods City Schools and United Way Success By 6 has helped support the district’s youngest learners as they start on their path to academic success. “Success By 6 stresses the importance of early childhood education and was instrumental in helping us this year with the Jumpstart programs for our kindergarten and preschool Warriors,” said Corina Denny, community engagement coordinator for the district. Success By 6 contributed $7,000 to the Jumpstart program.
“United Way Success By 6 has also sponsored an annual Kindergarten Readiness Summit that has helped our staff members identify new and effective strategies to engage families and communities in school readiness efforts,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. “All of this has helped Winton Woods City Schools reach its goal of ensuring all students achieve their highest potential.”
Smith and the board of education expressed their gratitude for the ways that United Way Success By 6 has supported Winton Woods students and teachers. “We applaud the organization for its generous service to our district, and this month we’re pleased to present them with the August Community Spirit Award.”
JUNE 2016 - Brandon Smith
Brandon Smith is someone that loves making a difference and giving back to the school he graduated from. Just ask Winton Woods High School Band Director Dani Ashbrook and the hundreds of band students he’s helped through the district’s band program. “Brandon started helping out with the marching band drumline about six years ago, after coming back to play in the alumni band,” said Ashbrook. “He has become a vital part of the program since then.”
In addition to helping students with the music, Smith frequently makes phone calls home to set up a good rapport with the parents and has provided rides to and from rehearsals. “The students look to Brandon as a big brother,” said Ashbrook, “or a really cool uncle. They trust him and know that he just wants them to be good.”
Smith accompanied the band on its recent trip to China, paying the full price to go and work as a volunteer. “I don’t think he would have missed it for the world,” said Ashbrook. Smith has also asked to attend graduation as a staff member for the last couple years so he can see the students graduate.
“Brandon is always looking for new ways to involve alumni, and he is always trying to instill pride in the kids that go to Winton Woods,” said Ashbrook. “He is a proud graduate, tells anyone who will listen how great the students are, and bought a house in Forest Park so his tax dollars come to help us.
“Brandon was not always the easiest kid to teach, but he was by far one of the most talented. Ever since he started working with the drumline, he has become an invaluable member of the band staff. We are lucky to have him.”
When asked what Kent and Linda Schiltz do to help out student-athletes in the Winton Woods district, Jeff Merrill, athletic director at Winton Woods Middle School, said, “Anything. They take care of all the odds and ends.” Winton Woods High School Athletic Director David Lumpkin said, “Both of them will work extra hours to make sure everything gets done. They’ll fill in if someone is running late or volunteer if we need a person to help out. You can count on them.” The Schiltzes were presented with the Community Spirit Award, given for significant contributions to the Winton Woods School District over many years, at the May board of education meeting.
Superintendent Anthony G. Smith said, “Kent Schiltz is the familiar voice you hear at Winton Woods football and soccer games and at track meets, while Linda is there taking the stats. Both Kent and Linda work behind-the-scenes to make sure our athletic events are well run, that medals are on hand, statistics are taken, and tickets are sold.”
Either as a team, or singularly, the Schiltzes organize team meets and medals and sports awards ceremonies, work the scoreboard and do stats for girls basketball, announce and do stats for the middle school’s annual cross country event, help with stats at away football games, take care of site management for the stadium, clean the ticket booth and football storage and helped re-do the high school’s athletic office.
“Kent and Linda are the proud parents of two Winton Woods High School graduates and have chosen to continue to donate their time and talents to this district,” said Smith. “We thank them for the many years they have supported our student-athletes and our athletic staff. Their generous service to our district and our community is the reason they are receiving the May Community Spirit Award.”
The Artists Reaching Classrooms Program through the Taft Museum has provided multiple learning experiences and opportunities for Winton Woods High School students since its partnership with the school district began back in the 1990s. Lisa Morrisette, manager of school and docent programs for the Taft Museum, was presented with the district’s April Community Spirit award for the opportunities that the Artists Reaching Classrooms program has brought to Winton Woods High School.
The partnership started when a Taft Museum staff member visited the classroom of art teacher Carol Becci-Youngs to evaluate a student teacher. “She was so impressed with Winton Woods’ art students that she offered an invitation to join the ARC program,” said Becci-Youngs, who is also the district’s fine arts facilitator. “Since then famous artists like Thom Shaw, Katherine Hurley, Brenda Tarbell and Kevin Muente have come to the high school to speak to our art students.” Because of ARC, students over the years have had visits from industrial designers, social justice artists, print makers and painters. They’ve also visited the Taft Museum on field trips and were introduced to the history of the arts in Cincinnati and the collection of Anna Sinton and Charles Taft.
Becci-Youngs said Artists Reaching Classrooms was the showcase for the Congressional Art award many times, and that Winton Woods High School students have twice won first place in that competition, as well as second and third place. Each year the ARC program culminates with a student art show at the downtown Public Library, which helps the students understand the concept of an artist’s showing.
“The most amazing opportunity created from this partnership is that our seniors have won over $10,000 in scholarships offered over the years through the Artists Reaching Classrooms program,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. “This scholarship money shows the talent of our students as it was awarded to the most exemplary pieces of art.”
Smith said he joined Becci-Youngs and her students in thanking Morrisette for the amazing opportunities ARC has brought to the high school. “This month we’re pleased to present Artists Reaching Classrooms through the Taft Museum with the district’s Community Spirit Award.”
Superintendent Anthony G. Smith used the words “sacrifice,” “generosity,” and “dedication” to describe the continued involvement of Kim and Matt Sherman with Winton Woods athletics since the graduation of their youngest student-athlete four years ago. The Shermans were presented with the district’s Community Spirit Award, given for significant contributions to the Winton Woods School District over many years, at the March board of education meeting.
“The Community Spirit Award is a small acknowledgement compared to the sacrifices of Matt and Kim Sherman as they give back to the student athletes and community of Winton Woods City Schools,” said Athletic Director David Lumpkin. “Even after graduating two children from Winton Woods High School, Matt and Kim continue to provide much needed support to the athletic department. As president of the Winton Woods Athletic Boosters, Kim leads several fundraising events sponsored by boosters. All of the money raised goes toward all athletic teams at Winton Woods.”
Smith said, “There is a saying, ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person. They’ll make sure it happens.’ That is definitely true of Kim and Matt. In additional to quarterly booster meetings, the list of their involvement to help our student athletes is amazing. They run fall, winter, and spring concessions; organize the annual golf outing; coordinate the Warrior Cards sale; organize Ultimate Warrior Women Day with Coach Andre Parker; take care of the Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and dinner; sell spirit wear; coordinate popcorn sales; and help with football team dinners.”
Smith expressed his appreciation to the Shermans for staying involved with the district. “We are grateful for the many years that you have supported Winton Woods’ student athletes and our athletic staff, and we applaud your generous service to our district and our community.”
Only a few partnerships in the Winton Woods School District have lasted as long as the one with
the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Phi Psi Omega Chapter, Forest Park, Ohio. Their long-standing generosity to Winton Woods’ students led to the group being honored with the district’s Community Spirit Award for February, which was presented at the monthly board of education meeting.
Fifty students at Winton Woods Primary South in Springfield Township started their school year with new backpacks filled with school and classroom supplies, healthy snacks and a bookmark with nutritional information all courtesy of the sorority.
“What makes this donation to our students even more special is that it is the continuation of a partnership that has gone on for over 10 years between the sorority and the district,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. “These students, and their teachers, greatly appreciated the educational support that these backpacks provide. This donation is truly a gift, as our young Warriors arrived on the first day of school well supplied and ready to learn.
“We are grateful for the many years that Alpha Kappa Alpha has supported Winton Woods students, and we applaud the members for their generous service to our district.”
Dr. Brandon Wiers was honored at Winton Woods City Schools’ January board of education meeting with the district’s Community Spirit Award for his longtime service to the district. Wiers, who served on the board of education from 2010-2012, has since formed a group called “Concerned Citizens for Improved Schools,” along with George Wharton and Chip Henderson, to assist district leadership in assessing progress toward its student achievement goals.
Additionally, in February 2015, Wiers and his three children, all professional educators, formed a private business, Wiers Educational Consulting, LLC, whose mission is “enhancing numeracy.”
The Community Spirit Award is presented to an organization or individual to recognize their significant contributions to the district over the period of years.
DECEMBER 2015 - John Pennycuff
Forest Park—Colleagues, friends and family came out on December 14 to honor Winton Woods board of education member John Pennycuff for more than 25 years of service to Winton Woods City Schools. “John’s tenure on the board shows his dedication, commitment and concern for this district and its students,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. “Words will never be enough to express the gratitude we feel for the time, talent, and energy that Mr. Pennycuff has put in since he was elected in 1990.”
Pennycuff received the district’s Community Spirit Award and had Forest Park Mayor Charles Johnson proclaim that it was “John Pennycuff Day” in Forest Park. In addition to his time on the Winton Woods board, Pennycuff was installed as the president of the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) in January 2010 and spent the year supporting educational concerns throughout Ohio. He has also served the board as legislative liaison for many years and has worked with the Ohio and National School Boards Associations to seek improvements in laws governing schools.
Pennycuff and his wife, Mary, are 37-year residents of Forest Park. Their two children attended Winton Woods schools from kindergarten through high school graduation.
“We are grateful for your support of public education and for strengthening the educational experience of our students through your service on the Winton Woods board of education,” said Smith.
Forest Chapel Honored with Winton Woods’ Community Spirit Award
To the delight of Winton Woods City Schools, the district’s partnership with Forest Chapel United Methodist Church has continued from 2007 until the present day. “Members of the congregation have volunteered their time and talents in many of our schools through tutoring programs and mentoring initiatives,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. The district presented Pastor J. Kabamba Kiboko and the church’s congregation with the Community Spirit award at the November board of education meeting.
During the week many church members can be found at Winton Woods Primary North in Greenhills, working on academics with the district’s young students. At Winton Woods Intermediate School, Forest Chapel has volunteered for years at the annual Daddy-Daughter dance.
“This past summer the church helped to sponsor a new educational opportunity for our students—fly fishing,” said Smith. “Students in grades 5-8 were able to learn the fundamentals of fly fishing during a free, two-day camp held at Parky’s Farm in Winton Woods Park.
We are also grateful for the many years that Forest Chapel has held its summer Back-to-School Celebration, which has offered food and games to those attending, while providing school supplies to Winton Woods students. The church has also opened its doors to host our high school’s Senior Reflections ceremony. We thank Forest Chapel for its service to our district.”
Winton Woods City Schools has changed in many positive ways in the 11 years that Tim Cleary served on the district’s board of education. He’s been part of creating the Academy of Global Studies, implementing part-time enrollment for home school students, building the new high school stadium, and forging international school partnerships in China. It was all this, and more, that led to Cleary receiving the district’s Community Spirit Award at the November board meeting.
“It’s more than community spirit for this gentleman,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. “He’s put his life, and energy and commitment into making this district a better place for all our students. His energy, his enthusiasm, his love for children, and his love for district is just a small token of who he really is.”
Cleary said some of the highlights of his time as a board member included greeting teachers at the high school on the first day of school, awarding full-ride college scholarships to students through his affiliation with Cincinnati Christian University, and working with a staff and administrators “who work hard and care about students.”
Cleary thanked the board for his appointment to the Great Oaks board and said, “I’ve enjoyed all the fingerprints I’m leaving behind in policy and facilities and the stadium. It’s been an honor to serve my neighbors.”
Stan Townsend must know there’s a lot of truth to the saying, “The quickest way to a person’s heart is through their stomach.” Townsend, who is the owner and operator of the Forest Park Skyline, has donated food—and performed many other acts of kindness—that have touched the hearts of students, staff and families throughout Winton Woods City Schools for many years. Townsend was honored with the district’s October Community Spirit Award at the October board of education meeting.
“Stan Townsend and his team have forged a generous partnership with our schools,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. “This year the Forest Park Skyline is sponsoring the district’s Teacher of the Month and Student of the Month recognitions. These two awards honor the hard work of our staff members and student athletes, give them media recognition, and include a gift card to the restaurant.”
Over the years, the Forest Park Skyline has donated numerous gift cards to students as rewards during OGT test week and last year stepped forward as the first business partner to host the district’s monthly “Conversation with the Superintendent,” providing food for those attending. The company also joined a team of business partners to make sure there was a state-of-the-art scoreboard installed when the district’s new stadium was built.
Smith said he appreciates that people will most likely see a Winton Woods High School student working when they walk into Townsend’s restaurant. “That’s because hiring our kids has always been a priority,” he added. “The district is grateful for this ongoing partnership and is happy to present Mr. Stan Townsend and the Forest Park Skyline with the October Community Spirit Award.”
Sheryl McClung McConney of Envision Children and Vincent Rey of the Cincinnati Bengals have teamed up over the years to make a difference in the lives of children in the Winton Woods School District. Their work was recognized at the October board of education meeting when the two were presented with the district’s Community Spirit Award for September.
For the last three years McConney has worked with students at Winton Woods Intermediate and Elementary Schools in before- and after-school tutoring programs aimed at improving academic achievement. Often while McConney is up front teaching, Rey sits with students and helps them work on their math skills. Rey has said he’s been tutoring since age 11, when he made it into Bay Academy in Brooklyn, New York, and started helping other students get in to the school.
“Mrs. McConney and Envision have been on an educational mission for over 15 years and have reached thousands of children annually,” said Winton Woods Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. “Her passion is education, and she works to help students achieve their highest potential.”
Smith noted that both McConney and Rey believe in giving back to the community. “This generous donation of time and talent happens in tangible ways for the Winton Woods students who have worked with them for the past few years,” he said. “The investment the two have made to help our students achieve their highest potential is evident today and will be evident in the future success stories to come.”
Forest Park resident Linda McIntyre was presented with Winton Woods City Schools’ Community Spirit Award at the June board of education meeting. “Mrs. McIntyre is a passionate supporter of children and education and believes that students should have as many opportunities as possible to achieve and be successful,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. McIntyre is one of the Village Mentors, a group of individuals who support young learners at Winton Woods Primary North and Primary South. She is also a member of the Alabama Connection, a group of Cincinnati residents with an Alabama heritage who help economically challenged students fund college and post high school vocational and technical training. Since presenting its first scholarship in 2006, the organization has awarded over $20,000 to outstanding scholars.
For over a decade, the Fairfield Meijer has been a partner in education with Winton Woods City Schools through its support of the district’s staff and students, and its donations to district programs. The district publicly thanked the store at the May board of education meeting by presenting them with the district’s Community Spirit Award.
“During this year alone, Meijer donated $2500 in school supplies and gifts to students at Winton Woods Elementary School.” said Corina Denny, community engagement coordinator for Winton Woods City Schools. In 2012, Meijer made Christmas merrier for a number of students at Winton Woods Primary South with the donation of 34 bicycles.”
Over the years Meijer has also participated in the high school’s job fair and has been an annual contributor of food and drinks for the high school’s back-to-school picnic.
“All of these donations show a community stakeholder who understands and actively does their part to support academic success for Winton Woods students,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. “We’re grateful for that.”
“At Winton Woods City Schools, we are changing the conversation from the responsibility of a few to the responsibility of many,” said Denny. “Meijer’s continuing support is a great example of when our stakeholders understand and actively do their part to support academic success for our students.”
Without the Winton Woods Educational Foundation, many academic programs and opportunities would not be available throughout Winton Woods City Schools. It was because of this educational support that the WWEF was honored at the February board of education meeting with the district’s Community Spirit Award.
“One of the highlights at convocation each year is when the Winton Woods Educational Foundation gives out its oversized grant checks,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith. “The 2014 presentation included three more grants, bringing to eighteen the number awarded since 2009. Those grants have meant that there have been almost 5,000 educational experiences provided by WWEF to the students of our district. The foundation’s grants have touched students in all of our buildings.”
Some of the WWEF-sponsored programs in the Winton Woods district have included:
The high school’s annual STEM conference which introduces students to science, technology, engineering and math careers.
Project Success’s College and Career Readiness Fair.
The Camp Joy Outdoor Educational Center experience, which impacts students with multiple disabilities.
The Amazing Race, a two-day orientation for students in Academy of Global Studies.
The Winton Woods Middle School “Go Green Initiative.”
The Student Enterprise Marketplace Project at Winton Woods Intermediate School.
The Virtual Library that brought e-readers to Winton Woods Elementary School.
The Outdoor Sculpture Project that created a permanent work of art in front of Winton Woods Primary South.
The “Leader in Me” project at Winton Woods Primary North which teaches the seven habits of leadership and character to students.
The Investigations Outdoor Learning Labs at Winton Wood Primary North and South, which also serve community members who visit through maps of the United States that are painted on the playground, as well as number lines, Venn diagrams, and clocks.
PHOTO CAPTION: Dale Heidotting, past president of the Winton Woods Educational Foundation, accepts the Community Spirit Award from Winton Woods Board President Jessica Miranda.
The Forest Park Kroger takes its educational partnership with Winton Woods City Schools very seriously. So seriously in fact that manager Sean Treinen allowed part of the store to be turned into a classroom for four weeks last summer for a special program called “Kick the Summer Slide.” The program, implemented by Eloise Richardson, an academic advisor and educational assistant with the district, provided fun and educational activities and incentives to help encourage school children to stay academically-focused during the summer. During that time, over 370 students were academically engaged in science, reading and math activities.
Winton Woods City Schools showed its appreciation to Treinen and his store with the presentation of the district’s Community Spirit Award at the January board of education meeting.
Superintendent Anthony G. Smith noted that in addition to the summer program, Kroger’s Community Rewards is an ongoing partnership with the district’s PTA. “This educational fundraising opportunity has raised thousands of dollars in scholarship money for Winton Woods seniors who are attending college,” said Smith.
Smith also thanked Kroger for its generosity over the years with gift card donations that helped feed students participating in the high school’s spring musical, provided incentives for parents to check ProgressBook, and provided refreshments at events and open houses throughout the district that were too numerous to count. The store also participated in the high school’s student job fair and the Kroger Company was a generous donor to Varsity Ensemble’s 2008 trip to China.
In a partnership with Winton Woods Intermediate School, the Forest Park Kroger set up a recycled can collection site for the school’s St. Jude’s fundraiser, donated cans, and then helped deliver them to the recycling center. That partnership led to over $340 collected for St. Jude’s Research Hospital.
“The Forest Park Kroger is a neighbor to our high school and an educational partner for our students,” said Corina Denny, community engagement coordinator for Winton Woods City Schools. “We never want to take their generosity for granted and thank them for their years of service to this district.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Sean Treinen, manager of the Forest Park Kroger, accepted the Community Spirit Award from the Winton Woods Board of Education at its January meeting.
Wright Gwyn, environmental awareness program manager for the City of Forest Park and a long-time supporter of Winton Woods City Schools, was honored at the December board of education meeting with the district’s Community Spirit Award. Gwyn, along with the Forest Park Walmart, was the driving force behind the creation of the land lab at Winton Woods Elementary School. This area has a rain garden, planting beds and composting bins and was described by Gwyn as “a hands-on discovery facility.”
For many years Gwyn also partnered with Winton Woods Intermediate School to sponsor the Environmental High IQ Bowl for fifth and sixth graders. This activity tested students’ knowledge of environmental issues in a competition that was aired on Waycross Community Media. The competition was replaced in 2012 by the Eco-Warriors Club at the intermediate school. Each monthly club meeting highlights lessons on ecosystems, biology, the rain forest and animal adaptations. Gwyn has also been able to bring the Cincinnati Zoo Animal Ambassadors program to the school a number of times.
PHOTO CAPTION: Wright Gwyn is shown with Winton Woods Board President Kim Burns.
The generosity that the Forest Park Walmart has shown is evident throughout Winton Woods City Schools. It was a $10,000 grant from Walmart that was instrumental in the creation of the land lab at Winton Woods Elementary School, an area that includes a rain garden, planting beds and composting bins. Walmart’s ongoing Earth Day partnership with the district has planted trees at each school and has brought company employees into buildings for Earth Day projects with students.
Walmart has also donated to district food drives and the Superintendent’s luncheon, participated in a job fair held by the district that led to summer jobs for students, and given financial support to positive behavior incentives at Winton Woods Elementary School. It has donated bikes as part of Winton Woods Intermediate Schools former D.A.R.E. program and donated $1000 to improve the school’s greenhouses. The company has recognized classroom teachers with gift cards, and Winton Woods High School received a $1000 to support its music program.
“From music to computers and so much more, Walmart Foundation grants have touched the lives of Winton Woods students in such a positive way,” said Corina Denny, community and public engagement coordinator for the district. “Walmart is a perfect candidate to receive Winton Woods City Schools’ Community Spirit Award for November.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Zach Lones of the Forest Park Walmart accepted the Community Spirit Award from Winton Woods City Schools at the November board of education meeting. He is shown with Board President Kim Burns. Superintendent Anthony G. Smith is also shown.
It’s hard to remember a time when the members of the Kiwanis Club of Greenhills/Forest Park were not actively involved in the Winton Woods School District. The club’s members have done everything from ushering at concerts to buying books for third graders to awarding college scholarships. “The board of education is deeply grateful to the Kiwanis Club for its many years of service to our students, staff, and community,” said Board President Kim Burns. “Thank you for being our partner for the sake of the children in our district.”
Members of the Kiwanis Club of Greenhills/Forest Park sponsor the board of education’s monthly Character is Key award, which comes with a gift card to Barnes & Noble, and the Kiwanis/Gold Star Student of the Month award, which comes with a gift card to Gold Star Chili. Kiwanis also sponsors KEY (Kiwanis Educating Youth) Club, a service club at Winton Woods High School that participates in community service projects like Habitat for Humanity, the Freestore Foodbank, and Crayons to Computers. And last year Kiwanis was instrumental in their support of Girls on the Run, an after-school running club at Winton Woods Intermediate School that teaches girls about good nutrition and healthy choices.
“The club’s members give countless hours of time and energy for fundraising activities, and all the money raised goes back to the community,” said Superintendent Anthony G. Smith during the award presentation. In 2013, Winton Woods Middle School received a $1500 donation of time and carpentry for its auditorium stage reconstruction. For the last five years, third graders at Winton Woods Elementary School have received a hardcover copy of the book Stellaluna or Pinduli from the Kiwanis Club. And countless seniors living in the Winton Woods School District have benefited from a college scholarship awarded from the Kiwanis Club.
“The ways that the Kiwanis Club and its members have served the students and families of Winton Woods City Schools are too numerous to count,” said Corina Denny, community engagement coordinator for the district. “We’re grateful for each and every one of them.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Current Kiwanis Club President Al Sugawara is presented with Winton Woods City Schools’ Community Spirit Award by Board President Kim Burns at the October board of education meeting.
Rogie Vollmar is the kind of volunteer who is quick to deflect praise or to include others in the accolades she receives. And that’s exactly what happened when she was honored with the Community Spirit Award at the Winton Woods Board of Education meeting in September.
Vollmar was honored for her years of volunteer work with the district, which began with her own daughter and has recently included mentoring for the Academy of Global Studies @ Winton Woods High School for the last three years. She’s also offered the use of her business, J&R Coordinating Services Inc., when the district has needed space for focus groups. But what Vollmar is most known for is heading up the team of women who hang graduation ribbons on the chain link fence on Winton Road every May. She’s been doing that for over 20 years.
As she was honored Vollmar made sure to thank the ribbon team—Betty Dunn, Elise Kitchen and Karen Kitchen, the many community members who have contributed to the project over the years, and the Winton Woods High School staff for their background help with the project. She also said how proud she was of the $10.3 million in scholarship money earned by the graduating class of 2013, the highest amount ever.
PHOTO CAPTION: Rogie Vollmar, a long-time volunteer with Winton Woods City Schools, was honored with the district’s Community Spirit Award at the September board meeting.
You never know where Jermaine Hill will show up next in the Winton Woods City School District.
Hill, who is the risk reduction specialist for the Forest Park Fire Department, has taught CPR classes at the middle school, helped stage a Prom Promise car crash at the high school and was part of the team that put together the Daddy-Daughter Dance at the intermediate school for the last few years. He also has coordinated the Firefighter Fitness Drill, a partnership between the district and the fire department, that combats childhood obesity by introducing students to exercises and activities that are typical in firefighting.
Add to that being a mentor with the district’s Academy of Global Studies, his recent participation in the Ice Bucket Challenge on the high school football field, and his annual participation in Warriors for the Cause fundraising basketball game at WWIS for the American Cancer Society, and you can see that Hill seems to be everywhere in the district. You can also see why Hill was presented with the district’s first Community Spirit Award for the 2014-2015 school year.
“This award was written with your name all over it,” Winton Woods Superintendent Anthony G. Smith told Hill at the August board of education meeting. “You are the definition of this award.”
In accepting the award, Hill said he was just trying to match the energy he sees throughout the district. “I get to teach fire safety and come have fun with your students,” said Hill. “I’ve found that having fun with them makes them more receptive to your message. I’m grateful to make a positive impact.”