Public invited to discuss BG school buildings

The Bowling Green Board of Education will hold a special meeting to discuss school buildings on Tuesday, June 28, at 7 p.m. in the Middle School Library, 1079 Fairview Ave.  This is a community focus workshop of the board, with the purpose of the meeting to provide an update and solicit feedback about the Ohio Facilities Construction Committee (OFCC) Master Plan report. No action is expected to be taken.

BG school district hires new athletic director

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Jonas Smith served as athletic director for Dayton Public Schools, where he oversaw seven high schools and a $3.6 million renovation of the district’s Welcome Stadium. But something was missing. Smith is hoping to find that missing piece at Bowling Green City School District. “The last several years, I’ve missed being around kids,” Smith said. Tuesday evening, Bowling Green’s board of education hired Smith as the district’s new athletic director. Smith said he was attracted to the “very welcoming” community, the good schools, and the potential to build relationships. Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci said he was attracted to Smith’s 20 years of experience overseeing a large program, his reputation in the state, his winning record at Dayton, and his success securing corporate sponsorships for the renovated stadium. “It’s what he brings to the table,” Scruci said. Smith will receive an annual salary of $90,000. “I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for,” Scruci said. Smith was accompanied to Tuesday’s school board meeting by his wife, LaDonna, and their two sons, ages 15 and 11. He was also joined by a former school superintendent and mentor, who flew up from South Carolina to be present for his hiring. Smith knows time to prepare for his new job is ticking away, with fall sports starting on Aug. 1. His philosophy for school athletics is “7-12,” he said. The head coaches at the high school level should have a hand in their sports from seventh grade on up. The fundamentals should be stressed at the middle school level, so the athletes will be ready for high school, he said. But he also believes athletics takes a back seat to academics, Smith said. “They are students first, athletes second,” he said. “We’re going to do what’s best for children.” Smith said he will be accessible to parents. “I have an open door policy for parents.” But he also believes in following the chain of command, he added. The new athletic director said he sees a lot of opportunity for the district. “It’s not going to happen overnight, but we’re going to move this district ahead and do what’s right for children.” Also the meeting, the school board hired Eddie Powers to take over as head coach of the hockey team. Powers has served as assistant to retired head coach Dan DeWitt, who served more than 25 years and scored more than 500 wins. The board also learned the biggest change in the student handbook for the coming year is the reduction in allowed absences. The previous policy allowed up to 15 missed days a semester. That meant a student could miss 30 days before the issue was presented to the court, Scruci said. The new policy will cut that in half, so…

ACT*BG’s role in staging Amazing Race appreciated

From BRUCE CORRIGAN On behalf of the Bowling Green High School Bobcat Bands, I would like to thank Drew Headley, Nick Peiffer, and the entire ACT*BG committee and the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring the Amazing Race held on May 13. Their efforts planning, organizing, and advertising for this event were phenomenal. On a yearly basis, our band parents and students raise thousands of dollars to support the needs of our Bowling Green students. We have had at least 17 fundraisers this past year alone to raise money for a band trip to Florida in December. ACT*BG took care of nearly every detail of this event and raised $1,800 for the Bobcat Bands. This is greatly appreciated by the many parents and students that have been working to raise funds throughout the year! ACT*BG is an impressive group that continues to find ways to make Bowling Green a better community. They have raised funds for various causes in recent years. Additionally, they have found fun and creative ways to bring together people in the community while raising funds. The participants in the Amazing Race clearly had a blast taking part in the activities throughout the evening. In recent years our schools have had a theme of Bobcat Proud. Personally, I am feeling BG Grateful for the members of the ACT*BG committee and the Chamber of Commerce for their contributions to the Bowling Green community.

Scruci’s first year focused on listening and talking

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Francis Scruci is no shrinking violet. If parents don’t know what is going on in the district, there’s a good chance they haven’t been listening. In his first year as superintendent of Bowling Green City School District, Scruci has made the most of high tech and low tech communication to find out what citizens want, and to tell them what is going on behind school walls. “One of the things I heard was that the communication was really lacking,” Scruci said about the initial comments he heard from local citizens. “What I’m hearing now is people know what’s going on in the schools.” For those who prefer face to face conversations, Scruci holds frequent group chats at local coffee shops. For those who prefer social media, Scruci sends out videos every Friday giving parents and students updates. “I think we get more out of that than if I would send out emails,” he said. The superintendent is not above pulling silly stunts and jamming to music on the videos – that’s as much for the students as the parents. “I want our kids to know that I have a personality. They see I can laugh at myself. They see they can approach me.” When he arrived in Bowling Green last year, Scruci quickly attained status among students by being present at nearly every school event. And in many cases, he was more than present. At the first football game last fall, he climbed up the director’s ladder and took a turn conducting the marching band. When the elementary students started a new reading program focused on a cute rodent, he walked around with a stuffed “Humphrey the Hamster” in his shirt pocket. When it comes to parents, Scruci prides himself on being straight forward, and not candy-coating the truth. “There aren’t any hidden agendas. We’re calling a spade, a spade. That’s something I’ve done everywhere I’ve been.” When Scruci and the school board meet on Tuesday at 5 p.m., they will look at that agenda, and discuss progress made on the district’s strategic plan that was adopted last August. “We got a lot of things accomplished in one year. I’m pretty pleased with the amount of progress we’ve made,” Scruci said. “The first year is always a tough year,” he said. Some new superintendents come into districts wanting to take charge. “That’s not a good approach. It tends to alienate people.” Instead, Scruci came in with the intention of first getting acquainted with the community and the school district. He has been listening to what residents want, and he’s been telling them where the district stands academically, financially and structurally. BG Schools ran into an unexpected problem last year when the district was put in the Ohio Improvement Process. But Scruci is…

Mustang designer enters Boys State Hall of Fame

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Ford Motors wanted to perk up its product line with a car that would appeal to young drivers, they turned to Gale Halderman, the company’s chief designer. He came up with a classic, the Mustang. Buckeye Boys State revved up its Hall of Fame Monday when it inducted Halderman, who turns 84 Tuesday, into its Hall of Fame. Halderman attended Boys State in 1949. He went on to attend the Dayton Institute of Art, and decided he wanted to design cars. He joined Ford as a 21 year old, and spent the next 40 years with the company. He described himself as “just a farm boy who liked to draw cars.” At Ford, the former farm boy designed trucks and tractors as well as the Mustang. Since retiring he’s turned the barn on his family farmstead into a car museum featuring a number of vehicles he designed. Halderman said he gained much during his week at Boys State that served him well in his career. As a member of the newspaper staff, he learned to work with people, even people he didn’t necessarily like. “But you don’t need to tell them,” he said. “You’ve just got to work with people in any career you choose.” Halderman wasn’t the only speaker who recalled the lessons learned from Boys State. Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards said those lessons in the hands-on civics program have served him well in his career in government and university administration. He attended in 1956. “I can firmly state my Boys State experience has never left me.” Edwards said he would be remiss as a band alumni if he didn’t “give a shout out” to the musicians in the ensemble, especially his fellow saxophonists. The program continues at Bowling Green State University through Sunday.

Buckeye Boys State convenes at BGSU

More than 1,200 young scholars from throughout Ohio will be at Bowling Green State University Sunday,June 12, through Sunday, June 19, for American Legion Buckeye Boys State. Students learn about city, county and state government by creating a mock government. City, county and state officials, along with American Legion volunteers, typically take part. Participants at Buckeye Boys State are also eligible for the BGSU Buckeye Boys State Achievement Scholarship. The automatic $1,000 scholarship for Boys State participants is renewable yearly and may be combined with other university scholarships. Buckeye Boys State was founded in 1936 and has been held at BGSU since 1978. In a letter this week to staff and faculty President Mary Ellen Mazey stated: “We’re committed to doing everything we can to continue this great collaboration.” She continued: “Buckeye Boys State and the dozens of summer conferences and camps we host give us the opportunity to showcase our campus and provide prospective students and their families with a taste of the BGSU experience. Our incoming freshman class includes 68 alumni from last year’s Boys State.

Ohio Humanities Presents Ohio Chautauqua in Rossford

From ROSSFORD CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU   History comes to life  in Rossford June 28 through July 2 when Ohio Humanities brings its  Ohio Chautauqua 2016 tour to Rossford. The theme for 2016 is “The Natural World” featuring chemist Marie Curie, Iroquois leader Cornstalk, Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, President Theodore Roosevelt, and zoologist Dian Fossey. Building on the 19th-century tradition established on the shores of New York’s Chautauqua Lake, Ohio Chautauqua is a five-day community event that combines living history performances, music, education, and audience participation into a one-of-a-kind cultural event the entire community will enjoy. Daytime activities feature stimulating adult programs and hands-on workshops for youth hosted at the Rossford Library, 720 Dixie Highway. Each evening, family, friends and visitors gather as live music fills the air in Veterans Park at the Marina, 300 Hannum Avenue with convenient parking and buses from Rossford High School. Then, a talented performer appears on stage, bringing a historic figure to life through personal stories and historic detail. This enriching and delightfully entertaining experience is perfect for every generation. With its warm, nostalgic vibe, this truly unique experience is sure to open minds and start conversations. A daily schedule can be found online at or Sponsors of Ohio Chautauqua 2016 in Rossford, Ohio include Ohio Humanities, the Rossford Convention & Visitors Bureau, ProMedica Bay Park Hospital, Lake Erie Living Magazine, Welch Publishing, Wood County Cultural Arts Grant, TARTA, Northwestern Water & Sewer District, the Rossford Business Association, Meijer Rossford, Costco Perrysburg, Camping World, the City of Rossford and the Rossford Library. Daytime Programs Rossford Public Library 720 Dixie Highway, 
Rossford. Programs for youth begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 28: Dan Cutler: Prehistoric People—How Primitive Were They? Wednesday, June 29: Susan Marie Frontczak: Once Upon a Time—Frankenstein Thursday, June 30: Dianne Moran: Animal Researchers Friday, July 1: Chuck Chalberg: Roosevelt as a Hunter & Explorer Saturday, July 2: Susan Marie Frontczak: Storytelling: Science and Engineering through Stories Programs for adults begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 28: Dan Cutler: How the “Skin Trade” Changed Traditional Native Values Wednesday, June 29: Susan Marie Frontczak: Does a Clone Have a Soul – or – Grappling with the Monster Thursday, June 30: Dianne Moran: Dian Fossey, Passionate Mountain Gorilla Researcher and Defender Friday, July 1: Chuck Chalberg: Roosevelt’s Character and Roosevelt as an American Character Saturday, July 2: Susan Marie Frontczak: Marie Curie—What Almost Stopped Her Evening Performances Rossford Veteran’s Memorial Park and Marina 300 Hannum Ave., 
Rossford Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 28: Susan Marie Frontczak as Marie Curie Wednesday, June 29: Dan Cutler as Chief Cornstalk Thursday, June 30: Susan Marie Frontczak as Mary Shelley Friday, July 1: Dianne Moran as Dian Fossey Saturday, July 2: Chuck Chalberg as Theodore Roosevelt Live local music at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 28 – Acoustic Penguin…

Horizon Youth Theatre offers summer workshops

Horizon Youth Theatre is offering a full slate of summer workshops. Workshops offered week of July 11 from 9 a.m. to noon are: THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE In this Aesop-based script devising class, students have the opportunity to explore the classic fable and write their own spin. Ages: 2nd-5th grade Place: Wood County Library, BG MUSICAL THEATRE Do you love to sing? Dance? Act? Go for your Broadway dreams with this week-long course! All experience levels welcomed. Ages: 6th-12th grade Place: First Presbyterian Church, BG Workshops offered week of July 18 from 9 a.m. to noon are: MUSICAL THEATRE JR. Do you love to sing? Dance? Act? Go for your Broadway dreams with this week-long introductory course! All experience levels welcomed. Ages: 2nd-5th grade Place: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, BG FOCUS ON FILM Explore filmmaking as a storytelling medium as you work in a team environment to craft a short film from concept to screening. Ages: 6th-12th grade Place: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, BG Workshops offered week of July 25 from 9 a.m. to noon are: READER’S THEATRE Students will learn the basic fundamentals such as off stage focus and interpretation of text. Ages: 2nd-5th grade Place: Woodland Mall, BG SHAKESPEARE IN PERFORMANCE Students will gain a working knowledge of Shakespeare’s writing style and language through scene and monologue work. Ages: 6th-12th grade Place: Woodland Mall, BG Register online at:

Memorial Day speaker drops bomb about Boys State … but turns out his coordinates were likely wrong

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A retired U.S. Air Force colonel dropped a bomb on the Bowling Green Memorial Day Program Monday, but it appears the torpedo may have been a dud. During his keynote speaking comments, Col. Scott Manning expressed his sadness that Buckeye Boys State was moving from Bowling Green State University to Miami University after this year’s program. As a high school student, Manning had attended Boys State and decided to return to BGSU for his college education and ROTC. So the loss of the program was a personal loss to him. That bombshell sent some shockwaves through the dignitaries and the crowd at the Memorial Day service. “I’m absolutely astonished if that’s true,” Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards said. Edwards attended Boys State when it was stationed at Camp Perry, convinced the program to move to BGSU in 1978 when he was in the university president’s office, and was later named to the Buckeye Boys State Hall of Fame. The Buckeye Boys State program has been in limbo for a few years, with the primary sticking point being money. BGSU wants more to house the program, Boys State wants the university to consider the value of having 1,300 male high school juniors come to campus for a week of mock government activities each June. “You get the best and the brightest from the state,” Edwards said. The program is not intended to be a money making venture, he said, but it does work as a recruitment tool for BGSU. Until Manning’s announcement, it was believed negotiations for a new five-year conference agreement were still going on. The current agreement expires after the program later this month. “I know negotiations haven’t been going well,” said Dave Ridenour, of the Bowling Green American Legion Post, who also helped organize the Memorial Day program. But after the program was over, Ridenour said that Manning had been given inaccurate information. “He misspoke from rumors.” The coordinates for the bombshell were faulty. “It’s pretty common knowledge that negotiations have not been going well with the university,” Ridenour said. “However, there’s no confirmation that they’re leaving.” Ridenour said the negotiations have narrowed the gap between what Boys State is paying and what BGSU wants. Meanwhile, “the whole community is on pins and needles.” Patrick Nelson, director of the Bowen Thompson Student Union at BGSU, was at the Memorial Day service and said afterward that the university had just sent new contract information to Boys State organizers on Friday. “As far as I know, we’re still looking good. I was surprised to hear that comment,” Nelson said. BGSU spokesperson Dave Kielmeyer, when reached by phone, was also surprised. “The last I heard, we were still negotiating,” he said. “BGSU greatly values our long-term relationship with Buckeye Boys State. As of…

Overgrown courtyard becomes oasis in middle of BGHS

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The courtyard at Bowling Green High School is being transformed into a peaceful oasis in the middle of the classrooms and chaotic lives of students. There in the courtyard is the soothing sound of a waterfall, where koi fish glide back and forth, beautiful flowers and smooth stonework. But it hasn’t always been this way. A couple years ago, biology teacher Josh Iler looked at the courtyard and realized it could be so much more. “The bushes were overgrown, covering the windows,” Iler said. One bush was blocking the door into the courtyard, making it difficult for students and staff to use the area. “They would not come out here,” Iler said of the students. But on Thursday, the courtyard was full of students sitting at the patio tables, taking a breather before their last couple classes of the year. “Now you’ve got to get out here early to get a seat,” Iler said. A couple years ago, Iler decided to use the courtyard as a classroom tool, and turn it into the oasis at the same time. He asked North Branch Nursery to come up with a landscape design for the space. “Get me started and I’ll let the kids figure out the rest,” he said. From there it grew … and grew. The work started on the edges of the courtyard, with the old overgrown bushes being pulled out and replaced with neatly sculpted flower beds. Then recently, the work moved into the center, where the school’s victory bell used to sit before it was moved out to the football field. “There was nothing but a cement slab,” in the center, Iler said. So on a recent Saturday, Iler and his students were joined by Superintendent Francis Scruci to create a koi pond with waterfall. “It got bigger and bigger,” he said, with the help of Select Stone, North Branch Nursery, Midwood and D&D Landscaping. One of those students helping with the project is Jordan Arrington. Though he graduated on Sunday, Arrington came back to school Thursday to talk about the courtyard project. “I took a lot of pride in this,” Arrington said. “He’s the guy who wouldn’t let it stop,” Iler said of Arrington. Arrington will be attending Bowling Green State University this fall, and is considering architectural landscaping as a possible major – not a path he even considered until working with Iler on the courtyard project. The skills he learned have also earned him a job at home this summer. “I have to redo our yard,” Arrington said, smiling. Even those students who didn’t have a role in the courtyard seem to have a new appreciation and respect for the site. The area is no longer being used as a place for kids to discard litter, Iler…

Some high school students take a pass on free lunch

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Teenagers from poor families in Bowling Green are apparently not taking advantage of the free and reduced priced lunches they are eligible for. School Superintendent Francis Scruci said at a forum for residents of Wards 1 and 2, that while about 30 percent of students in the district are eligible for free and reduced lunches, the number that actually apply at the high school “drops dramatically.” The numbers start to go down in middle school and the decline continues as students get older. Those students, Scruci said, don’t want to be identified as poor. That they don’t get the food they may need because of that is “sad.” The district has done everything it could to make sure those students cannot be identified at the lunch line. Yet a suspicion persists “that everyone’s looking at them and everyone knows.” The percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunches varies by elementary school with about 40 percent of Crim students eligible, 30 percent Kenwood and 20 percent at Conneaut. For some students, the breakfast and lunches they eat at school are the main meals they get, Scruci said. He said that many times people who rely on public assistance programs will move to Bowling Green because of the proximity of social service agencies. Scruci was at the meeting to discuss the building prospects for the district’s facilities plan. The district has: two aging elementary schools, and one, Crim, that was recently renovated; a high school that needs extensive work; and a new middle school. District officials plan to take up to 18 months to work with residents to decide how the community wants to proceed. He said he will not put a plan on the ballot that’s cooked up by administrators and school board. “If the community wants to do nothing, we’ll do nothing,” he said. If the community wants to build a new high school or central elementary school, then that’s the direction the district will take. Or if residents express support for renovations then that will be the plan. “I don’t want to go through this process unless I know what this community can and will support,” he said. He believes that everyone wants to support education, but he also knows some people may not be able to pay higher taxes. The district will not take state aid for any project, he said. Because the state considered Bowling Green an “affluent” district, it would only pay for 11 percent of any project, and then it would call the shots on how the project would be done. In the meantime, work will begin as soon as school’s out on the placement of a modular classroom at Conneaut. Given the school may be replaced, he said, it makes no sense to add onto it. One…

BG high and middle schools put on lockdown while police search for suspect (updated)

Around 12:30 p.m. today, the Bowling Green Police Department asked Bowling Green High and Middle Schools to go into lockdown mode due to the police tracking a suspect wanted on several felony warrants. The lockdown was lifted before 1 p.m., and police have arrested the suspect. According to an email sent out by BG Superintendent Francis Scruci, the suspect is a white man in his 50s, wearing a gray sweatshirt and blue jeans.  He was being tracked by a K-9 unit and does not appear to have entered the school property but as a precautionary measure the district was asked to lock down the buildings.  A witness had reportedly seen the man on Middle School grounds. Police later picked up the man, Wayne English, 49, of 1052 Revere Drive, Bowling Green, without incident in the 15000 block of Bowling Green Road West. English had a felony warrant for breaking and entering into a home in his neighborhood, according to BG Police Lt. Dan Mancuso. He also had two other warrants from two other counties, according to Police Major Justin White. English was taken to the county justice center.    

BG Schools’ financial forecast a rollercoaster

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green School District Treasurer Rhonda Melchi showed the school board Tuesday the five-year financial forecast for the district, then showed them an image that best summed up the situation – a rollercoaster. Melchi described some of the changes that have occurred since October. Tangible personal property tax was expected to disappear, but the district was supplemented for two years of that revenue. State foundation funding increased from a 0.28 percent to a 0.31 percent share. While that may seem insignificant, Melchi said it adds up to quite a bit. Of the $5,900 per pupil funding level at Bowling Green, the state will pay $1,829. Property tax collection has increased by $120,000 and the school district income tax is up $129,000. Some savings are being experienced in health insurance costs. But looking ahead, the district is adding two curriculum coordinators, six regular classroom teachers, two special education teachers, one behavioral specialist and one speech specialist. All those figures add up to revenue and expenditure lines that crisscross on their ways up and down on the financial forecast chart. Based on the current snapshot on finances, the district will have a positive balance until 2019, Melchi said.  Then, the district will have to search for more revenue. Also at the meeting, the school board learned about a new literacy task force led by Ann McCarty, executive director of teaching and learning for the district. She introduced several teachers who have been working on their own time throughout the year on a program to improve reading programs. All the teachers wore red T-shirts, McCarty said, because “this group is on fire.” Several of the teachers took turns describing different highlights of the literacy efforts. “Compare it to learning to ride a bike,” Stacey Higgins said. First, the teacher holds on as the student pedals, then the teacher runs alongside, and finally the student takes off. Some of the teachers also described what the literacy program is not.  It is not “one size fits all” and not memorization of words. In addition to improving literacy in the students and each classroom, the program will also ensure all the elementaries and secondary classrooms have the same goals. “The same building blocks, the same foundation is there,” said Emily Mennitt, school psychologist. The district has great teachers, she said, but “we were lacking in consistency. There wasn’t an overall plan.” Teacher Danielle Carrasquillo said teaching reading can be a “really messy process.” But the new literacy program has rejuvenated her. It doesn’t offer a quick fix, but a structure with room to breathe, she said. McCarty said the program will be especially helpful to first-year teachers. Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci said it is inspiring to see the teachers so excited about improving literacy levels in students….

Prizes awarded to BGHS senior show artists

Submitted by BGHS Art Department Monday the awards for the Senior Art Show now on display at Four Corners Center in downtown BG were announced. In announcing the awards, art teacher Nicole Myers said: “To be in Senior Studio, students need to have great work ethic, great creativity, be independently motivated and take art all four years. “Student artists complete teacher driven prompts while trying new materials and solving problems that may arise. Each student is responsible for exhibiting their best work from the four years in the Senior Studio Show.” The show is in its 19th year and includes the work 26 seniors, the most ever in Senior Studio history. Participating in the show were: Savannah Artiaga, Hannah Brose, Brittney Bushman, Ashley Cochrane, Rebecca Elsasser, Conner Erdody, Kurt Greiger, Angie Hoffsis, Lydia Kalmar, Maeve Kennedy, Alexandra Knoell, Michael Koldan, Miranda Lentz, Keller Martin, Sydney Mason, Zach McCurdy, Alex Noble, Drew Peterson, Lilly Rakas, Tony Reisberg, Adam Schroeder, Katy Slaughterbeck, Micah Smith, Morgan Smith, Allison Swanka and Rowan Wicks. Awards for a total of $1,000 were sponsored by businesses, organizations and individuals. Award winners were: • PTO Purchase Award, Miranda Lentz, “Another Brick in the Wall,” a pen and ink drawing. • 2-D purchase award courtesy of Black Swamp Arts Festival, Micah Smith for “Cinnamon Teal,” colored pencil drawing. Matt Reger selected this piece for its incredible detail and overall display. Reger selected a second piece as well, Sydney Mason’s “Aquarelle,” acrylic painting. He was drawn to the bright colors and said it is just fun to look at. Copies of Sydney and Micah’s pieces will be displayed on the second floor of the high school. • 2-D purchase award courtesy of Black Swamp Arts Festival, Adam Schroeder for “Pierre the Pigeon,” clay. • Principal’s Award sponsored by Mr. Jeff Dever, which goes to a student with high work ethic, Lilly Rakas. • Outstanding Technical Merit Award sponsored by Ben and Jen Waddington of Waddington Jewelers, Brittney Bushman, “3 Shades of Blue” necklace, an enameled piece made by melting glass on individual pennies and then attaching each with jump rings. • The People’s Choice award courtesy of Floyd Craft, owner of Ben Franklin, Keller Martin, “Elvis,” acrylic painting. The last two awards were selected by Mr. Francis Scruci, superintendent and Mrs. Rhonda Melchi, treasurer. The first award is the Superintendent Award wen to Micah Smith’s “Cinnamon Teal.” This piece will be added to the Central Administration’s permanent gallery. The Board of Education Award went to Conner Erdody’s Diversion, sculpey triptych. This piece will hang permanently in the high school conference room. The exhibit remains on view at the Four Corner Center during the day through Wednesday.

Summit brings women in philanthropy into focus

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Learning how to manage money and learning the value of sharing that wealth with others go helping hand in helping hand. For the past 15 years, Auburn University’s Women’s Philanthropy Board has entwined those lessons in programs geared toward elementary school students through adults. Bringing those values together is essential, said Sidney James Nakhjavan, the executive director for the Cary Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at Auburn. She was the keynote speaker at the Women in Philanthropy Summit Saturday at Bowling Green State University. The summit was convened by the presidents of BGSU, Otterbein University and the University of Findlay. “When you talk in terms of money management, you talk in terms of one thing,” Nakhjavan told those in attendance. “When you talk in terms of philanthropy and building a legacy, you certainly are talking about one thing. When you blend it then you get this powerful force that really effects change within people. …  It becomes this burning passion.” While teaching money management may seem fairly dispassionate, said Nakhjavan every semester she gets “criers.” One male student became apoplectic in a session talking about money management. He was angry because he didn’t realize how much debt he was taking on. He didn’t know what an IRA or a 401K was. He’s not alone. One young woman told Nakhjavan that when she saw 401K on the syllabus, she thought she was going to have to run a race. Another thought United Way was an airline. “They end up being grateful to learn this stuff and empowered to build their legacy,” the speaker said. Since 2001, the efforts, started as Women’s Board for Philanthropy, have been working to increase that learning curve. Seminars for women, started with 100 attendees, have grown to attract 1,000 attendees. The formation of the board was prescient. In 2001 Dean June Henton, of the College of Human Sciences, with colleagues and a donor, attended a conference with the intention of finding how to cultivate a culture of philanthropy among women on the Auburn campus. “What prompted that,” Nakhjavan said, “was the then emerging societal trend that women would be the predominant wealth holders in this country, and therefore the world. With that power of the purse, women would have more influence.” This came to pass in 2010, she said. “The face of philanthropy has changed.” Nakhjavan was hired in 2004. The board, which is housed in the College of Human Sciences, has created a course, which led to the creation of two more courses. Those became the core of a minor in philanthropy. The board created a summer camp for elementary school children, Camp iCare, and one of teenagers, Real Cents Real Change. The center, which promotes the value of philanthropy, also lives by it. It…