Also featuring photos from our monthly supplement...

Oakwood homes during the
'teen' years -
1913 to 1919

OHS ’98 alumnus enjoying Peace Corps
teaching post

Nikolaus Williams, Oakwood class of 1998, and a 2002 graduate of the University of Virginia, has been with the Peace Corps in Malawi, Africa since September 2007.  Nik completed his training in December and was sworn in at the US Embassy in the capitol city Lilongwe.  Since then he has been teaching math and physical science at a remote village school in the north of the country.

The nearest sizable town is Mzuzu where Nik goes once a month for supplies. It is also an opportunity to meet with other volunteers at the transit house maintained by the Peace Corps. The village including the school is without electricity, running water and telephone service, and is about thirty miles from the nearest paved road.

The teaching profession in Malawi has been decimated by the AIDS/HIV epidemic which has particularly hurt the rural areas. Prior to his arrival there had been no math or science teacher at the village for two years. Math is a core subject for students who want to advance to any of the few opportunities available for higher education in the country. In his 2nd, 3rd and 4th forms (equivalent to 10th, 11th and 12th grades) Nikolaus teaches about 120 students. After the normal school day from 7:30 to 2:00 he teaches “evening” classes until 5:00 to help those students who need more help.

The school was built in the sixties. The buildings form around a bricked courtyard ringed with hedges and shaded by mango trees. The school is poorly funded and ill equipped. Text books are very scarce and some creativity is required to find teaching aids. The library is under stocked and with donated books such as “An Introduction to UNIX Programming” and “Advanced Computational Statistical Analysis” shows how misplaced Western aid can be.

The particular version of the Bantu language spoken in northern Malawi is Chitumbuka. However, the high school students are fairly proficient in English, at least in the higher grades. Learning the language is an important part of the volunteers’ training as the Peace Corps requires them to integrate into the village communities during the two years they live there.

Soccer (called football), is a serious sport and played with enthusiasm and skill in Malawi.  Nik has been asked to help coach the village teams which he finds poorly equipped, often lacking shoes and team shirts. The Malawian’s have a unique way of recycling plastic bags. They wrap them tightly into balls and play soccer with them.

Nik says locally produced food is good and cheap, but processed or canned food is expensive. In fact, Malawi has hardly any processing or manufacturing capability. The two commodities that the country has plenty of are time and manpower.

Nik has a substantial house by village standards and about two acres of land. He has planted a large garden of vegetables including soybeans and corn. So far, everything has been surprisingly easy to grow. He has planted avocado, mango, lemon and orange trees and is even starting a flower garden to the amusement of his neighbors who consider such an enterprise frivolous.

Reading is a favorite pastime but is hampered by the lack of electricity.  Candles and headlamps (the kind used by campers) provide some ability to extend this pleasure into the evening hours.

Following a school break in which Nik visited the sites of fellow volunteers and traveled to the south of the country, he is now returning to his village to start his second term. With the arrival of two new Malawian teachers Nik  has been “promoted” to head of the math and science department. With a reduced work load and experience gained from the first term he is looking forward to the second term.

OHS senior designs prosthetic leg

Barrett Doty, an Oakwood High School senior in the Allied Health Tech Prep program through Kettering/Fairmont, designed and built this prosthetic leg. Working with Or-Pro of Dayton, and a physical therapist at Miami Valley Hospital, he created the device for his Senior Capstone Project.

Doty, who is interested in someday becoming a physical therapist, chose the topic of prosthetics for amputees. “When he designed this, he had to include principles of physics and anatomy to engineer the leg and make it work,” said Diane Patterson, Allied Health teacher at Kettering.  “Through his participation in this 2-year program, he also received 21 college credits.”

This summer, Doty will accompany Patterson to Columbus where he will present his project to educators from around the state.

OHS track team 1st at Troy Invitational

The Oakwood High School track team battled the cold and wind, Saturday, April 11, to finish first in both the girl’s and boy’s divisions of the Troy Christian Eagle Invitational.

Starting the field events, Kaitlyn Trent and Joy Belser finished first and second in the discus. Belser finished second and Brooke Trauthwein third in the shot put. Maddy Lehner finished third in the High Jump. The girls 4x800 relay team of Maya Hughes, Ericha Griep, Elizabeth Connelly and Lucy Shafer finished first. Meredith Irvin finished third in the 100m hurdles. The freshman sprint team of Maddy Lehner, Karin Mueller, Haley Basnett and Kelsey McDonald finished first in the 4x200m relay. Lehner finished first and Basnett third in the 100m dash. Rachel Conniff finished second and Sarah Dietz third in the 1600m run. In the 4x100m relay Bria Meade joined Lehner, Basnett and Mueller to circle the track for a second place finish. Kelsey McDonald crossed the line ahead of the rest of the field in the 400m and 200m dashes. Ericha Griep ran to a second place finish in the 300m hurdles and a third place finish in the 3200m run. In the 800m run Lucy Shafer led the field. Maya Hughes, Sarah French, Karin Mueller and Kelsey McDonald closed the girl’s invitational with a win in the 4x400m relay.

For the Jacks, Jake Mays, Matt Money and Brian Beck finished one-two-three in the shot put. Mays and Beck threw to first and second place in the discus. Zach Rodabaugh jumped to first place and Chris Mullins third in the long jump. Rodabaugh finished second in the high jump, behind first place finisher Damian Rudy. Liam Jackson, Joey Neff, Philip Sizek and Tory Tomlinson ran to a second place finish in the 4x800m relay. In the 1600m run Peter Hix finished first and L. Jackson third. Hix and Mueller finished one-two in the 800m run.  Ben Hogan, D. Rudy, Nathan Thomas and Brad Achterman finished third in the 4x100m relay. Nathan Thomas finished third in the 200m dash. J. Neff and P. Sizek finished second and third respectively in the 3200m run. The Jacks, Keith Mueller, Chris Mullins P. Hix and N. Thomas finished the meet on a high note with a win in the 4x400m relay.

On Tuesday, April 15, under more temperate conditions, the team competed at the Bellbrook Relays. Both the girls and the boys were fourth out of six teams. The top relay teams for the Jills, were the first place 4x1600m team of Ericha Griep, Lucy Shafer, Elizabeth Connelly and Julia Sizek and the sprint medley team of Bria Meade (100m), Maddy Lehner (100m), Haley Basnett (200m) and Kelsey McDonald (400m). In the 4x100m hurdles, E. Griep, Abby Sharrer, Haley Basnett and Anna McGovern crossed the line third. In the field events Laura German and Ciara Marlin combined long jumps also for third place.

For the Jacks, Peter Hix, Chris Wolcott, Troy Gould and Liam Jackson were second in the 4x1600m relay. Ben Hogan, Chris Mullins, Chris Hawkins and Nathan Thomas were third in the 4x400m relay. In the field events Zach Rodabaugh and Chris Mullins long jumped to second place. Rodabaugh teamed with Damian Rudy in the high jump for another second place. Jake Mays and Matt Money combined tosses in the shot put for a top finish. Mays and Brian Beck threw the discus for another first place finish.

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April 22, 2008
Volume 17, No. 17

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'round town


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Hayes - Miller

Author to discuss teaching the deaf

Entries sought for Oakwood Film Festival

American Dream Awards Program April 30 at OHS

OCC drawing contest winners

Reserve your That Day in May tables!

Centennial Reflections - Essays from the Oakwood Historical Society... Ralf Kircher - a witty, one-of-a-kind local writer - by Harry G. Ebeling

New edition of Oakwood: The Far Hills coming

At the Wright Library...One council member addedd to the Roster, Wright Library needs Book Sale volunteers, "Big Read" discussion group slated for April 27

RED: Table design benefit Apri 25 - 26

Benefit to premiere film 'Ropewalk' April 25

Cox Arboretum EarthWise Celebration through April 27

Spring Choralfest
April 27 at CUMC

Pre-register for May 10th 5K CARE Walk

Prayer Breakfast at Dayton Woman's Club May 1

All Stars against Alzheimer's Gala

@ the OCC

1908 Centennial flight conference slated
May 8 - 9

Burt Saidel...DPO string quartet plays with passion, musicality, 9th annual WSU Arts Gala, Dayton Playhouse Oedipus Trilogy

Dayton Ballet to present 4 works in 1 week

MODA fashion show retruns to DAI April 30

DSPS announces Spring Art Show April 27


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