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Neufeld assumes CEO post at Victoria Theatre

Ken Neufeld has settled in quickly as the new CEO and president of the Victoria Theatre Association and Arts Center Foundation. A native of Winnipeg and former resident of Toronto, Neufeld, 56, started his new position in Dayton on June 1, as the successor of Dione Kennedy who took a similar position in Fort Worth, Texas.

“I was impressed with Dayton for two reasons,” Neufeld said. “Number one, the great neighborhoods, easy commute and, number two, the scope and breath of the facilities here, the Victoria, Schuster and Loft, all in one block.”

Within a month of accepting his new Victoria post, Neufeld has made the media rounds, appearing as a TV guest on Channel 2 and Channel 7, and he and his wife, Lesley, move to their new home in Oakwood after selling their old home in Buffalo, N.Y.

Neufeld has an impressive resume of managing arts organizations. He managed Vancouver’s Gateway Theatre and a museum before taking over the duties at Buffalo’s resident professional group, the Studio Arena Theatre, which he managed from 1999 to 2006.

Years before starting his professional career, Neufeld graduated from the University of Winnipeg. He pursued a master’s degree in theater arts at Michigan State University. A former guitar player in the band and cameo player in a few stage productions, Neufeld said he changed his theater goal from stage direction to theater administration.

“I had been exposed to the arts for most of my life, but then I realized that I wanted to work in this (administrative) environment,” Neufeld said.

Working with a staff of more than 90 employees, he has one general goal. “I’m not a meetings kind of person. My job is to make sure everyone is doing well and is focused on making this a better experience,” he said.

Underscoring the VTA’s 2009-2010 season of touring shows are the three blockbusters: “Wicked,” “A Chorus Line” and the “Phantom of the Opera.” He described the new theatrical season as “impressive” in scope and variety.

Neufeld said he’s looking forward to future successes on the local professional stage. “So far our ticket sales are going very well for the new season,” he said. “What’s exciting is working with a very impressive board, all people who are community minded and interested in the needs and desires at hand.”

For more information about the VTA, call 228-3630.

School Board_______________________________

.5 mill levy request and new school district hires
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The Oakwood Board of Education met last night for a regular board meeting with all members present minus Superintendent Scalzo.

The Oakwood Board of Education approved the request by Wright Memorial Library for a 0.5 mill levy.

The levy will be on the ballot for the November 3, 2009 election. The proposal was presented by library director Ann Snively in response to the expiration of the .49 mill levy in 2012. Snively stressed the importance of the levy suggesting that without the levy there will be about half the amount of programs for teens and preteens and adult programs will be almost nonexistent. The library would also take an 18-20 percent reduction in hours. The passage of the levy would add $159,000 to the library’s budget each year for the next five years resulting in 29 percent of the library’s budget supported by local revenue.

Snively addressed the furlough which will close the library from August 16th through August 23rd. The closing is a result of the significant reduction of funding for the library by the state of Ohio and will save the library about $41,000.

Also introduced at the meeting were three new Oakwood City School District hires. Mindy Purdy will be welcomed as Library/Media Specialist at Oakwood Junior and Senior High Schools. Former Oakwood School teacher Amy Fultz will be returning as a Kindergarten teacher at Lange School. Also joining the district is Amy Stevens as an ESL tutor.

An overview of Ohio’s standards revision process for English/Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies was given by curriculum director Kimberly Kappler Hewitt. The possibility of the Ohio Graduation Test being retired and replaced with a national test such as the ACT was discussed during the presentation.

Also approved at the meeting were the donation of $1000 to the Women in Science Scholarship by Howard and Kimberly Hobby and the approval of the transportation agreement with the Kettering City School District for the Lange School during the 2009-2010 school year.

KEY swimmers place 6th in USA

Twenty-two swimmers from the Kettering YMCA (KEY) Swim Team, including six from Oakwood, competed two weeks ago at the YMCA Long Course National Championship in College Park, Maryland. Out of 148 teams and 1374 swimmers nationwide, the KEY Team placed 6th overall by the end of the four-day competition.

Daniel Schmitz, an OHS senior, placed second in the country in the 400 Freestyle and sixth in the 200 Freestyle. Teammate David Ireland, also an OHS senior, placed thirteenth in the 50 Butterfly and tenth in the 200 Butterfly events. Andy Lamb, an OHS junior, teamed with Schmitz and two other KEY swimmers to place fourteenth in the 400 Freestyle Relay and fifteenth in the 800 Freestyle Relay.

The most outstanding men’s individual performance was from KEY swimmer, Ty Perkins, a Centerville HS senior. He placed first in the 800 Meter Freestyle and his time of 8:25.05 broke the national record previously set in 2004. Perkins also won the 1500 Freestyle and the 400 Freestyle, recording a rare trifecta.

Other KEY swimmers from Oakwood in the meet included Maddie Hochwalt, Jennifer Schmitz, and Brendan Tirado. The KEY National Coaches consisted of Head Coach Eric Wentzel, and assistant coaches Lauren Penrod, Amanda Stier and Shane Zimmer.

The KEY swim team is now accepting new swimmers of all ages for this fall. To schedule a swimmer evaluation for practice group placement, or to get more information about the program, contact Head Coach Eric Wentzel at 434-1964 or keyswimcoach@sbcglobal.net. Also check out www.keyswimming.com for additional information.


Ice Cream Social Aug. 16

The Oakwood “Ice Cream Social” will be held on Sunday, Aug. 16 at Shafor Park from 3:30 to 7 p.m. It is Oakwood’s oldest traditionis a tradition held before school resumes in the fall. Families gather at Shafor Park for food, community entertainment, games and prizes for children of all ages. Your ticket includes a fried chicken dinner provided by Lee’s Famous Recipe, various flavors of ice cream and a drink.

Games start at 3:30 p.m.; Dinner is served from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5.25 in advance, beginning Monday, July 20 through 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15. Tickets that day are $7.

Oakwood Clubs

Another feature of the Ice Cream Social is the “Avenue of Organizations.” Non-profit groups may set up tables to share information, recruit members and introduce fundraisers.

Call Vickie Gearhart at 298-0775 for more information.


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