Education

BG School bond issue meets with protest and praise

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The school bond issue faced a little more hostility from residents during the second public forum on the issue Thursday evening. But it also was met with some heartfelt support. Bowling Green City Superintendent Francis Scruci started the forum with an overview on the bond issue for new and renovated school buildings. The evening was heavy on numbers – and some were pretty hefty. In order to raise nearly $72 million for the buildings, the district will need to pass a 6-mill bond issue that will go on for 37 years. “It is a big number, there’s no way around saying it,” Scruci said. For the owner of a house valued at $100,000, that means an extra $210 a year. But since the average house value in Bowling Green is $170,000, Scruci said that would add up to $357 a year. And for those on the higher end, with a $250,000 home, the bond issue would mean another $525 a year. Some citizens in the audience said they aren’t against students, teacher or schools – but they just can’t afford the project. “Have you seen the crops under water,” shouted Chris Sabo. Scruci said he realized the cost was high – but so is the reward, he said. “This is an investment in our kids. This is an investment in our community. This is an investment in our future.” But to Sabo, the cost is too high. “Then you’re not going to have a city, cause everybody is going to move out,” he said. “This is a big chunk of money and…


BG Middle School addition to relieve overcrowding

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Schools is facing the challenge of passing a bond issue in November to build a consolidated elementary school and a major reconstruction of the high school. But first, the district has to respond to a more immediate construction need. On Tuesday evening, the board of education voted unanimously to request bids for a $4.15 million expansion of the middle school to relieve serious overcrowding. The plan is to pay for that project with permanent improvement money, so it will be completely separate from the bond issue project. The middle school is the newest building in the district, having been constructed in 2009. But the problem is that it was built to house two grades – seventh and eighth graders. However, when a couple older elementary schools in the district were closed, the sixth graders were also moved into the middle school. The middle school currently houses about 750 students. Unless the building is expanded, the overcrowding issue will worsen in a couple years when an abnormally large class entering fifth grade now reaches the middle school, pushing the student count close to 800. To relieve the overcrowding, another classroom wing is planned. It will be situated to the south and parallel to the existing classroom wing. An open courtyard area will sit between the two wings. The new one-story addition will likely be used for the eighth graders. Construction bids will be opened by the board next month, with construction planned to start by September. The goal is to have the wing open for the 2018 school year. An…


Horizon Youth Theatre marks 20th year with gala

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The seed for Horizon Youth theatre was planted in the dead of winter. One February night in 1997, Scott Regan, a Bowling Green State University professor of theatre and director of its Treehouse Troupe, gathered more than a dozen people involved in the arts to discuss a dream: the creation of a theater troupe for young people. The attendees didn’t need to be convinced of the value of theater for kids. The only question is whether such a troupe could take root in Bowling Green. Now more than 20 years later, Horizon Youth Theatre is blossoming. Approximately 1000 people attended the four performances of its recent musical “Cinderella.” Throughout the year it offers workshops for kids of all ages. Horizon Youth theatre will celebrate its 20th anniversary Saturday, July 15, 6-9 p.m. in the Simpson Building Banquet room. Tickets are $15. Visit http://horizonyouththeatre.org/2017/05/20-anniversary-gala/. The gala opens with a red carpet extravaganza with heavy hors d’oeuvres and music by the GRUBS. A program will follow at 7 featuring five short performances interspersed by testimonials by three alumni: Genevieve Simon, an actress now in New York; Grace Easterly; and Brittany Albrecht. (Simon will also present a workshop on Shakespeare and autism earlier in the day from 2 to 3:30p.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church for actors 8-18. Cost $10.) The troupe will also honor its founders Scott Regan and Jo Beth Gonzales, the high school drama teacher. Regan said that the idea for the troupe came after a BGSU production of “A Christmas Carol,” which he had directed. The production used a lot of children, and…


BG high science teacher Gloria Gajewicz finalist for national honor

Bowling Green High School teacher Gloria Kreischer Gajewicz is in the running for the Presidential Awards in Mathematics and Science Teaching.   Gajewicz, who teaches physics and geoscience, is one of four Ohio science teachers of grades 7-12 named finalists in science. Two Ohio teachers are finalists in math. All will move forward to the national competition. In the coming academic year, a panel will choose 108 teachers to receive national honors. For more information, visit: http://education.ohio.gov/Media/Ed-Connection/June-26-2017/Finalists-selected-for-presidential-award-in-mathe#.WWF6ixPNEVc.facebook


Manufacturing no longer dead-end and dirty jobs

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   From childhood on, kids dream of what they will become when they grow up. Doctor? Teacher? Scientist? Few set their sights on working in a manufacturing plant. But maybe they should. The Wood County Economic Development Commission is working with others to put on the first “manufacturing camp” in the county for middle school age students. Wade Gottschalk, executive director of the county economic development commission, explained the concept Thursday to the county commissioners. “We want to introduce middle school kids to modern manufacturing,” Gottschalk said. “We think there’s a misconception of what manufacturing is.” It’s not like the old days when factories were thought of as dirty worksites with mundane, repetitious routines. Today’s manufacturing plants are often spotless and require high tech skills. And the jobs are plentiful. “We visit the manufacturers and we hear constantly that they can’t find people,” Gottschalk said. “There’s a lot of demand.” So students who choose jobs in the manufacturing sector over getting a college degree often come out ahead of their peers. They have an easier time finding work, they make similar wages to those people with degrees, and they aren’t saddled with the debt from college. But most kids don’t even think about manufacturing as a career. To help change that mindset, the first “manufacturing camp” is being planned in Wood County. Partnering with the economic development commission is U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, the local Ohio Means Jobs office, Bowling Green City Schools, Penta Career Center, BGSU, the Wood County District Public Library, and the Wood County Educational Service Center. The local industries…


Five awarded scholarships from P.E.O.

Submitted by P.E.O. Chapter EJ of Bowling Green On Sunday, June 11, 2017, P.E.O. ‘s (Philanthropic Educational Organization) local Chapter EJ of Bowling Green held a reception to celebrate the awarding of four local recipients of scholarships given by P.E.O Ohio State Chapter and Chapter EJ. Callie Spears, Micaela Schempf , Elizabeth Webb, and Cassidy Williford received scholarships from the Ohio Scholarship Fund awarded to Ohio high school students who are enrolled to continue their education.In addition, Jenna Schonter, also a high school student, received the first Barbara Klopfenstein Book Scholarship offered by Chapter EJ of Bowling Green. The five scholarships totaled $3,310. P.E.O. is an international society of women who are dedicated to supporting women as they seek to improve themselves through education. The sisterhood proudly makes a difference in women’s lives with six philanthropies that include ownership of a women’s college, Cottey College, and five projects that provide higher educational assistance to women just beginning their college educations, to women who have had their educations interrupted, and to women who are seeking advanced degrees. P.E.O. also offers loans at 2% interest to students in need of money to continue their education. Please contact Sharon Libby, President, Chapter EJ if you are interested in more information about P.E.O. or it’s scholarships, grants, and loans. General information and contact information can be found on the public portion of the P.E.O. website. PEO 2017 OHIO SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS   ELIZABETH WEBB Parents:  Matt & Jodi Webb 2017 BGHS Graduate Will be attending Ohio State University Major:  Public Affairs     CASSIDY WILLIFORD Parents:  Jo & Marina Williford 2017 BGHS Graduate Will be…


Horizon Youth Theatre celebrating its 20th anniversary, July 15

From HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE Horizon Youth Theatre will celebrate at its 20th Anniversary Gala, Saturday, July 15,  6-9 p.m. at the Simpson Building Banquet Room 1291 Conneaut Ave., Bowling Green. Join past and present members of Horizon Youth Theatre as they celebrate the troupe’s 20th anniversary. The evening will include performances, food, door prizes, and special guests. Tickets are available online now at horizonyouththeatre.org. Purchase tickets before Saturday July 1 at only $10 apiece. Starting July 1, ticket prices increase to $15 per person. Only 180 are available and this event is expected to sell out. Schedule of events: 6 p.m. Red Carpet Extravaganza (Heavy hors d’ouevres will be served) 7 p.m. Entertainment and Awards 8 p.m. Post-Party (Dessert reception) Door prizes include 2017-2018 HYT season tickets and many other theater-related gifts. For information and tickets: http://horizonyouththeatre.org/2017/05/20-anniversary-gala/


Young Africans leaders congregate at BGSU to learn from Ohio & each other

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The future of Africa is at Bowling Green State University. The university is hosting 25 organizers and activists as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The institute hosts 1,000 fellows at institutions across the country. (http://bgindependentmedia.org/bgsu-hosting-young-african-leaders/) A conversation with nine of fellows included men and women from Mauritania and Niger in the northern end of the continent to Zimbabwe near the southern tip. The issues they were concerned with were similarly broad, from helping those caught up in the sex industry, education, and environmentalism. And they said they were finding ways of addressing those issues here in the Northwest Ohio meeting with civic leaders and during outings as close to home as the farmers market and as distant as Columbus and Detroit. Tuesday they toured the Bureau of Criminal Investigation lab and crime scene building. Jon Sprague, the director of the Governor’s Center for the Future of Forensic Science at BGSU, also spoke about the opioid crisis. Yet their greatest source of support and knowledge, they said, was each other. “I think the best art of this program was my colleagues,” said Chibuzor Azuuike, of Nigeria. “Africa has to move forward .So meeting people who are of like-mind, who are very passionate about making an impact back at home, is important. I’ve learned a lot from them, and we hope to partner on projects.” Loice Kapondo, of Zimbabwe, said in the week they’ve been at BGSU “we’ve been sharing stories formally and informally. … Their strategies are easy to adapt to my country because of the similarities.” While Africa is…


BG’s Scruci tries to dispel rumors about bond issue

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci tried to stop the rumor mill from churning Monday evening. For 90 minutes, he presented details and answered questions from a packed meeting room at the public library about the school district’s building plans and the bond levy to support them. Scruci has heard “all kinds of stories” about the district’s plans. “We wanted to get this information out now,” he said. “We want to get out in front of those” rumors about costs, cuts, kids and more. So he started by explaining the building plans and the $72 million cost to taxpayers. “I’m going to be the first to tell you that’s a lot of money, and we know that,” Scruci said. The 6-mill bond issue will appear on the November ballot for the projects. “Schools are always going to be the investment in the future in every city,” he said. “If we kick the can down the road, the cost is going to grow.” For the owner of a house valued at $100,000, that means an extra $210 a year. But since the average house value in Bowling Green is $170,000, Scruci said that would add up to $357 a year. And for those on the higher end, with a $250,000 home, the bond issue would mean another $525 a year. When he said the bond issue was for 37 years, someone in the audience whistled. “People are going to say that’s a lot of years, and it is,” Scruci said. But a bond issue with fewer years would mean greater payments that could be…


BG high students experience the magic of London

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green High School students who traveled to London last week experienced a foreign culture and a little bit of magic. Drama teacher Jo Beth Gonzalez accompanied eight students on a tour of London. The tour organized by E.F Educational Tours also included 35 teachers, students and parents from London. The students and their families were responsible for raising all the money to pay for the trip. No district funds were used. The trip left June 15 and the bleary-eyed travelers returned on June 21, having experienced five-and-half packed days in London and Stratford, England. Gonzalez and four of the students gathered two days after their return to discuss the trip. These are early impressions. Gonzalez said. The full impact on the students probably won’t be felt for a year, as they absorb what they experienced. Tressa Greiner, who will be a sophomore in August, said that she’d always loved the score from the musical “Wicked.” Getting to see it on the London stage was something else again. “It was really magical.” While most of the students who went were involved in the school’s drama program, Greiner hasn’t been able to fit it into her scheduled. Gonzalez said they all hope that will change next year. Julia Maas, who will attend Bowling Green State University in fall to study physical education and health, was also impressed with the musical. She’d seen it before, but now she saw it in a new light. “The characters were so clear and bold.” The characters were given a different interpretation and accent by the British cast, said Elaine…


BG schools to hold public forum on bond issue

Bowling Green City Schools will hold a community forum Monday, June 26, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St., Bowling Green. The forum will give community members a chance to ask questions and get information about the school district’s November bond issue to build new schools.  


BGSU’s Pathways of Promise program gets state funding

By OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The Ohio Department of Higher Education recently approved $5 million in funding for projects that will enhance the quality of higher education throughout the state while making it more affordable for students by stabilizing or reducing tuition rates. Bowling Green State University received $750,000 for its PK-16 Pathways of Promise (P³) project. P³ proposes to develop and field-test a scalable model for identifying key performance indicators of college-readiness in university data systems. The data is then shared with PK-12 partners, building a system for continuous program improvement for institutions of higher education and local education agencies. Dawn Shinew, dean of the College of Education and Human Development, was excited to learn the project had been funded. “This project makes a lot of sense and has the potential to have a significant impact, not only for BGSU’s students, but for P-20 education in the state of Ohio.” Shinew serves as a co-principal investigator on the project along with Dr. Brian Campbell, associate dean for Operations, Analytics and Assessment, and Dr. Matthew Lavery, assistant professor, School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Policy. The original pilot of the program began in summer 2016 after Shinew noticed a theme in conversations she had had with local superintendents – they didn’t have good data about how their students do in college. Shinew discovered that the data was available, it was just a matter of what could be pulled that was meaningful and respecting the students’ privacy. In June, data was shared with six local school districts: Bowling Green, Springfield, Fostoria, Otsego and Maumee and Toledo School for the Arts,…


Dream comes true in Horizon Youth Theatre’s “Cinderella”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Sky Frishman is an old hand at playing Cinderella. The 2017 graduate of the Toledo School for the Arts first played Cinderella when was 9 in the Horizon Youth Theatre’s “Cinderella, the World’s Favorite Fairy Tale.” “In My Own Little Corner” from the score of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” has even been her go-to song for showcases and auditions. Now Frishman gets to put that favorite tune in context as the lead in Horizon Youth Theatre’s production of “Cinderella.” The musical runs June 22, 23, and 24 at 7 p.m. at Otsego High School. “Cinderella has always been one of my dream roles,” she said. Director Cassie Greenlee said the familiarity of the story is part of the attraction. Everyone knows the tale. That allows room for interpretation. The tale has lessons to teach. The story is about choice, she said, about how people choose to act toward others, talk to others, “and what happens when the choice is taken away from them.” The show’s featured bullies are the stepmother and two stepsisters. As the stepmother, Narnia Rieske is comically haughty. But the script explains that she’s anxious to marry off one of her daughters to the prince because they are running through the money left by Cinderella’s father. Not that the stepsisters (Terra Sloane and Melissa Mintz) are concerned. They are too self-involved, two brats who are always bickering with each other when not joining forces to bully Cinderella. The pair do a great job on one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s funniest songs “Stepsisters’ Lament,” a deliciously comic number. Thomas Long’s prince also gets fleshed…


BG youngster’s paper cranes take flight to Japan

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Paper cranes cannot fly. Still some 400 origami cranes, folded with care by 12-year-old Daniel Schuman of Bowling Green, will take flight this week and return to their traditional home in Japan. Akiko Jones, the director of the Asian Studies Program at Bowling Green State University, will bring the cranes over with her when she travels there with students. She will place them at the Peace Memorial at Hiroshima, under the gaze of the statue of Sadako Sasaki. It was Sadako’s story, told in a book “Sadako and the 1,000 Cranes” that revived an ancient Japanese legend. Daniel wrote in his PACE reoirt that the legend maintained: “Anyone with the patience and commitment to make 1,000 cranes will make their one desired wish come true.” Sadako was a young victim of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. She suffered from leukemia, and in her last days she began folding cranes. After she died and her story traveled around the world, others emulated her dedication. This is one of the many aspects of origami that 12-year-old Daniel discovered while doing a project on the craft for PACE, the Bowling Green program for gifted students. Daniel, the son of Gloria Gajewicz and stepfather Chris Gajewicz and Andrew Schuman, first got interested in origami at BGSU’s Cherry Blossom Festival, organized by Jones and staged by the Japanese Club. He was intrigued by the intricacies of the paper folding. Someone had already thought he might have an interest in the craft because he had a couple origami books that he’d received as gifts. His interest piqued, he delved…


Tickets available now for HYT’s “Cinderella”

Submitted by HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE Horizon Youth Theatre, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is proud to present Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA June 22, 23, and 24th at 7:00 pm at Otsego High School. The timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale is reborn with the Rodgers & Hammerstein hallmarks of originality, charm and elegance. Originally presented on television in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA was the most widely viewed program in the history of the medium. It was recreated in 1965 starring Lesley Ann Warren, and again in 1997 with Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as her Fairy Godmother; both were no less successful in transporting a new generation to the miraculous kingdom of dreams-come-true. As adapted for the stage, with great warmth and more than a touch of hilarity, the hearts of children and adults alike still soar when the slipper fits. This Enchanted Edition is based on the 1997 teleplay. Songs include “The Prince Is Giving A Ball,” “My Little Corner,” and “Impossible.” Directed by Cassie Greenlee, the musical features 55 students age 8 – 18 from many area schools including Bowling Green. The rest of the production team: Brittany Albrecht, stage manager; Tim Barker, choreographer; Kelly Frailly, music director; Christina Hoekstra, costuming; and Scarlet Frishman, assistant director. Stars are Skylar Frishman in the title role and Thomas Long as Prince Christopher; Olivia Strang and Narnia Rieske play Fairy Godmother and Stepmother. Other cast: Stepsisters are Terra Sloane and Melissa Mintz; King and Queen are Alex Evans and Anne Weaver; Lionel and Leo (Royal Stewards) are Bob Walters and Bella Truman. Understudies for the…