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Thank You Mj and John Gray

I’ve lived in Oakwood almost four years now and every so often I would see the announcements in The Oakwood Register about the free concerts at the “Farm” (i.e., home of Mj and John Gray). Being a music lover I always intended to go – but some scheduling conflict or just plain forgetting have prevented me from going…until last Sunday, that is.

My daughter and I and several other families from our neighborhood biked over to the Ridgeway address to take in the free Flag Day concert being held there, and none of us had any idea what to expect. When we headed down the hill we saw cars parked several blocks in all directions and folks on foot with wagons, chairs, children and blankets in tow. (We were very glad we biked at that point.) As we rounded the corner, the 70,000 beautiful daffodils of spring had given way to American flags lining the property for this special Flag Day concert by the Ohio State Alumni Marching Band.

And what a wonderful concert it was! The intermittent (sometimes steady) rain was not enough to dampen the enthusiasm of the band or the several hundred attendees. The band played for an hour or so and included both patriotic and popular repertoire. The highlight for me was the medley of the “theme” songs for the five main branches of the armed forces (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard). As the audience clapped along in time, active and veteran members for each branch were asked to stand during their respective song. When there seemed to be no one standing for the Coast Guard anthem – my daughter decided to “stand in” for her grandfather, a coast guard veteran who had died just a few months earlier. Being a former “twirler” of sorts in my younger days, I also thoroughly enjoyed the performances by the three drum majors in attendance – two current leaders and one alum.

Of course, the sun broke through – just as the performance on the hill was ending, and we headed for home a little soggy but having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Speaking of the hill – that understates the beauty of this venue quite a bit. The Grayscarved a natural amphitheatre of sorts into the hill next to their home. It has several tiers of large boulders to sit on – with a good amount of grassy area in between for chairs and blankets. Just the perfect venue for a Sunday afternoon concert…and did I also mention it was FREE – what a delightful gift to give to the community in our trying economic times.

Thank you very much for your hospitality Gray family – you are a tremendous asset to Oakwood. I can’t wait to attend the next concert at the Farm on Friday, July 31, at 7 p.m., featuring the Oakwood High School Band. This time the date is already on my calendar!

Vicki Auditore, Office Manager
The Oakwood Register

Taken aback on education attack

I just finished reading the June 9th Letters to the Editor. I was really taken back by what Mr. Dietz wrote. First of all, is he aware that there is only partial truth in rumors? I would be embarrassed to admit in print that I was listening in on a private conversation and then repeating what I had just overheard as if I was playing “The Telephone Game”. How ludicrous! The Oakwood Board of Education has never, nor will they ever, hire second-rate teachers. As far as hiring the “cheapest” teachers, are you referring to new college graduates or seasoned teachers? Any field that a person goes into and accepts a new job will obviously make less than say a manager or a vice president who has put many years into that company. So, that should make sense why a person brand new to teaching would make a lower salary.

As for opening the district, uh, hello, Oakwood has done that as long as I can remember. The one thing that deters students from living in other cities and commuting to Oakwood is because the tuition rate is high. Let’s face it, if you want the very best, you are going to pay for it! It is cheaper to live here, own your home and pay city taxes than it is to pay intradistrict tuition. So, in essence, that problem is solved.

I have never heard anyone openly target personnel. I am sure that parents and teachers have disagreements but if a teacher was not doing his or her job, they would be reprimanded and ultimately released from employment. This also has happened in recent years due to a teachers’ performance. I do know that some parents have requested the school board to consider making the standards HIGHER so that our children are very well prepared for college, especially where math and science are concerned. Some graduates have struggled with these subjects in the past so parents went to the board, demanded more difficult work, and that is exactly what the children received.

Now, when you talk about Dayton Public Schools being “among the best in the state” at one time, are you kidding me? My father graduated from DPS in the 1960’s and even then, the schools were in trouble! Luckily, my dad was not a product of his environment and he rose above those challenges and gave my family the opportunity to be born and raised in Oakwood. Today, you can research DPS school ranking and standardized test scores on the web. I like It lists the school ranking, scores and neighborhood statistics, and compares areas locally to those in the rest of the state. You should definitely check this or any other reputable site out.

I am sorry that you feel that Oakwood does not offer the best and that parochial schools offer a “mediocre education”. You can always go back to Dayton and singlehandedly improve a district that has struggled for the past 60 years or more and lend them your sage advice, or you can be careful which gossip you take to heart in the future.

Jennifer Lawson

Most schools have Highly Qualified Teachers

In reference to the letter written by Mr. Dietz “rumors of school policy changes overheard,” I take offense to Mr. Dietz’s remarks regarding Dayton Public Schools. We take great pride in our Highly-Qualified Teachers as do parochial schools. There are an abundance of highly qualified educators in both settings as I am sure there are in Oakwood City Schools. Maybe Mr. Dietz is not clear on what the criteria is for a highly-qualified teacher. What does he mean that Oakwood is hiring the “cheapest” teachers? Is he referring to first year teachers and their salaries? If that is the case, is he concerned that Oakwood would only be hiring recent education graduates? What a shame that he would perceive those new teachers as not being quality educators. Many times it is the recently graduated teachers that provide the latest, most innovative and motivational experiences to students. That is not to say that we seasoned teachers don’t provide those experiences as well. A teacher’s salary does not reflect their quality as an educator. A teacher’s salary is a reflection of the number of years of service and their level of degree. Has Mr. Dietz looked into home schooling for his children? If Mr. Dietz has issues with the Dayton Public Schools, parochial schools and now with Oakwood Schools, then maybe the issue is Mr. Dietz himself. For the definition of a “Highly Qualified Teacher, please visit the Ohio Dept. of Education website at

Robin Shope
Highly Qualified Teacher
Dayton Public Schools



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June 16, 2009
Volume 18, No. 24

front page
'round town

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.







































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