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OHS swimmers splash SWBL Championship

Photos by Leon Chuck,

At the Southwestern Buckeye League Swim and Dive Championship, the Oakwood Lumber jacks and Jills captured the 2008-09 SWBL trophy. The Jills convincingly tallied 204 points followed by Germantown and Bellbrook with 78 each. The Jacks tallied 180, followed by Bellbrook (166) and Franklin (63.5). At right, the Oakwood swim team poses with their first place trophies at the SWBL Swim and Dive Championship.

More swim photos in photo gallery >

3 named Distinguished Alumni awardees

The Oakwood Board of Education met on Monday, Feb. 9 with four members present and Dr. Paul Vanderburgh absent but excused. The meeting got underway with the monthly Curricular Showcase. Science Department Chair and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Fellow Heidi Steinbrink presented Energy Team members Ryan McFarland, Ian Munn and Adam Sobol, who demonstrated an energy bike they built.

Purchased with a grant from the Oakwood Schools Education Foundation, the bike was hooked up to an electric dynamo and when pedaled, produced electrical current. The electricity was in-turn hooked up to a power board that had three types of lighting: incandescent, fluorescent and light emitting diodes (LED), each of which required less power to light up in descending order. An AC electrical outlet also was also installed and operated an electric fan and electric hair dryer, the dryer using the most energy of all due to creating heat.

Social Studies teacher John Moore was on hand with two of his students, seniors Caroline Hartel and Adam Smith, who were among 44 OHS students that traveled to Washington D.C. and attended the inauguration of Barack Obama last month. Describing the four days spent their as one of the most momentous times of their lives, the students gave a short pictorial tour of their trip while describing their experiences.

Oakwood Alumni Association Director Rande Chapman was on hand to announce three alumni who have been selected and will be receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award at the second annual awards reception to be held on Friday, May 15, 2009. The honorees are: Petah Coyne, OHS Class of 1972; Edman Gray, OHS Class of 1957; and Cyrus Spurlino, OHS Class of 1953.

Wright Library Director Ann Snively briefed the board on the Big Read program being instituted county-wide by both libraries and schools. The selected book, 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult, is a tale about bullying and the deadly backlash that can occur. A group book discussion will be held at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 22 at Wright Library and on Tuesday, April 7 at 7 p.m. at the Oakwood Starbucks.

Oakwood City Schools Treasurer Kevin Philo gave cautionary assessment of the schools’ future finances and announced a cutback of over $100,000 from this year’s budget in anticipation of state cuts (see full story on page 1).

Superintendent Dr. Mary Jo Scalzo gave a roll call of enrollment for the Oakwood Schools, noting a small increase of 17 students from last year’s total (2183 vs. 2166). The enrollment breakdown was: Lange School - 137; Harman Elementary – 496; Edwin D. Smith Elementary – 535; Oakwood Junior High School – 343; Oakwood High School – 672.

The board accepted the resignation of OHS Principal Joseph Boyle, effective July 31, 2009. Mr. Boyle has been serving with the Oakwood schools since 1998.

The next formal meeting of the Oakwood Board of Education will be on Monday, March 2, 2009.

Oakwood Schools cut $114,000 from 2009 budget

The Oakwood City Schools announced budget cuts totaling over $100,000 this year because of anticipated funding cuts from the State of Ohio between now and June 30, 2009. Every indication from the State of Ohio is that dramatic reductions in every form of state revenue such as personal income tax and sales tax may force the state to cut funding to Ohio school districts such as Oakwood, even though K-12 education has been exempted during the first three rounds of state funding cuts.

The Oakwood Schools are anticipating state funding cuts of between $165,000 and $330,000 to occur this year, with further reductions in the next two years. Oakwood Schools Superintendent Dr. Mary Jo Scalzo stated, “We are trying to be proactive in anticipation of loss of revenue from the state. With the much appreciated passage of our levy in 2007, it is essential that we demonstrate fiscal accountability. In this economy, that means trimming operating costs to be as efficient as possible while maintaining effective instruction.”

The cuts, which will occur immediately, are for the current budget year that goes until June 30, 2009 and are from the district’s general fund. The budget reductions, totaling $114,000, for this year are:

Technology Purchases.........$36,500
Professional Development...$25,000
Curriculum Purchases..........$20,000
Classroom Supplies.............$20,000
Athletic Accounts.................$12,500

Oakwood School’s Board President Dr. Paul Vanderburgh said, “These economic times coupled with the State of Ohio’s budget shortfalls will present financial challenges for all Ohio school districts including Oakwood. Fortunately, we have been very proactive in re-examination of our priorities and budget planning.”

The newly proposed state budget by Governor Strickland looks to adopt different funding formulas that do not appear to be favorable to districts like Oakwood which have a low level of poverty. The Oakwood Schools currently receive $5.5 million or 25 percent of their operating budget from state foundation funding. The governor’s proposed budget projects a zero percent increase in fiscal year 2010 and a two percent decrease in fiscal year 2011 for the Oakwood Schools. This means that for the budget year starting July 1, 2009, the Oakwood School District will need to tighten its belt even further. This could include staff reductions and additional program cuts.

Oakwood School Treasurer Kevin Philo stated, “We always try to maintain the best educational program at the lowest cost possible. The state of Ohio made mid-year cuts in the early 1990’s and it appears that the economy may force them to do the same this year. A loss of funding from the state makes us re-examine all programs and personnel.”

February 10, 2009
Volume 18, No. 6

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'round town


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Notes from the edge...
by Niel Lorenz
On knowing too much

Major Cook elected to First Suburbs chair

Donovan elected 2nd District appellate judge

Meetings for youth tour of France announced

Tiger Scouts pay a visit

St. Vincent infant/toddler drive

Dayton Peace Museum Benefit slated Feb. 21

Friends of Wright Library meeting Feb. 11

At the Wright Library...

Junior High ski trip
Feb. 19

@ th OCC...

PCH offers free health screenings

Burt Saidel... DCDC Winter Concert celebrates 40th season, Brother Wolf at the Loft


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