Bowling Green High School

BGHS dress code patience running short … just like the clothing

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Parents with high school daughters know the drill. Before the teens leave for school, they have to pass the fingertips test. “I check every morning,” said Shari Beeker, who has two daughters at Bowling Green High School. “Do your fingers go below your shorts?” So far, Beeker’s daughters haven’t had a problem. But others have not fared so well. As is customary for the beginning of the school year, some students are testing the boundaries of the high school dress code. And this year, some parents are suggesting that it’s difficult to find teenage clothing that meets the dress code criteria. So Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci is looking for 20 high school staff, parents and students to be part of a Dress Code Task Force, to review, discuss and perhaps make changes to the current policy. Scruci sent out emails to all high school parents asking those interested to contact him. Part of the problem may be that the high school is not air conditioned – so some students wear as little clothing as possible. But Scruci suggested some common sense is needed. “Everybody is still dressing like it’s summer,” Scruci said last week. “It’s got to become common sense.” High school principal Jeff Dever said the dress code may need some tweaking. But overall, it’s reasonable. “No one should see bra straps and parts of rear ends,” Dever said. “I don’t think it’s outdated. Some of the parents think they can’t find clothes that meet the dress code,” he said. “I just think we have to set expectations. We’re getting…


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


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 Spanish students immersed in Cuban culture

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S., trips abroad by Bowling Green City School students were halted. Concerns about student safety took priority over the desire to let youth experience the world outside U.S. borders. But last month, a group of Bowling Green students not only traveled overseas, they went to a nation that had long been off-limits to many Americans. Spanish students traveled to Cuba for a week of learning the nation’s culture, food, music, history, lifestyle – and an opportunity to use their Spanish speaking skills. “None of us are going to forget” the week-long trip, Spanish teacher Dallas Black told the Bowling Green Board of Education on Tuesday evening. English teacher Tom Ross, who also traveled with the group, encouraged the school board to allow more student travel overseas. “I want this to be a stepping off point,” after a long dry-spell of international travel, Ross said. “Let’s get traveling again with our classes and our students.” Three students – Griffin Black, Elle Ross and Maddie Smotherman – who went on the Cuba trip presented photos and observations from their travels. The students talked about traditional Cuban food, art, extreme poverty, monuments to revolutionaries, the beach, a cathedral, the University of Havana, the Bay of Pigs museum, and a botanical garden. “What an incredible opportunity it was for us to see all this,” Smotherman said. “Cuba was amazing. I couldn’t have picked a better country to visit.” And the timing was perfect, Black and Ross said. Cuba is “on the cusp of change,” Ross said. “It’s…


JoBeth Gonzalez inducted into Ohio EdTA Hall of Fame

From THE EDUCATIONAL THEATRE ASSOCIATION: OHIO CHAPTER The Educational Theatre Association: Ohio Chapter (Ohio EdTA) is thrilled to announce the Hall of Fame induction of Dr. JoBeth Gonzalez and Mr. Scott Wilson. Dr. JoBeth Gonzalez – known affectionately as Dr. G by her students – has been a leading advocate for theatre education in Ohio for decades. As a teacher at Bowling Green High School, she has directed innumerable plays and musicals, and served as the long-time leader of her school’s thespian troupe. Over 23 years at BGHS, she has earned a reputation for addressing challenging subjects of special relevance to her students, including eating disorders, teen suicide, bullying, and human trafficking. “Several years ago, JoBeth and I were part of a research group called Critical Links at the Educational Theatre Association. I had known JoBeth prior to that project, but became even more aware of the depth of care that she brings every day to her students and to her craft,” says Irene Imboden, Ohio EdTA co-director. “JoBeth is my inspiration. I often tease her, saying ‘When I grow up, I want to be JoBeth.’” Gonzalez is the author of two books: “Temporary Stages” and “Temporary Stages II: Critically-Oriented Drama Education,” which have inspired many theatre teachers to provide audition feedback rather than posting of cast lists. She is the past president for the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, the 2014-2015 Ohio EdTA Theatre Educator of the Year, and Bowling Green State University College of Education and Human Development’s 2016 Educator of the Year. Scott Wilson has taught theatre in Westerville, Olentangy and Columbus Public Schools for 19…


Administration stands by high school soccer players’ right to take a knee

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN and DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   Bowling Green School District has chosen to stand up for the right of its students who refuse to stand for the National Anthem. Three members of the girls varsity soccer team recently chose to kneel rather than stand before a game when the anthem was played. “They have a right to peaceful protest,” Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci said. “Currently our nation is experiencing one of the most trying times in its history,” Scruci said during Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting. “We have a presidential race that is challenging political parties, genders, ethnicities and the very freedoms that the Constitution protects.” Scruci referred to football player Colin Kaepernick, of the San Francisco 49ers, who peacefully protests by taking a knee during the National Anthem. “We have unrest in our communities with violence and people and police officers being shot on a regular basis,” the superintendent said. “We have professional athletes using their popularity to take political and societal stands and using their stage to make those statements in front of the world.” In a video posted by her mother on Facebook, one of the players Caroline Sayer explained why she “took a knee.” One of her fellow players, who is African American, was supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and was “getting a lot of negative feedback.” That prompted the player to say she would take a knee, Sayer said. Other students said they would come to witness her doing it “to get her in trouble.” The player took the knee at the next game, which Sayer was not…


BGHS ’78 grads show their class with new bobcat statue

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Poised to lift the white shroud from the object set in front of Bowling Green High School, Bill York paused to note that he’d been promised “this is not just another class of ’78 prank.” The class, known in the years since they graduated as the worst class ever, has set about turning over a new leaf. “We’re trying to establish a new reputation as the most giving class,” York said. That spirit was represented when the object, a large bronze statue of a bobcat, was unveiled. For Principal Jeff Dever, it will be “a tremendous thing for kids to come to school and see that.” And yes, he heard, the stories about the class as “the worst class that came through these doors.” What he knows is that the class has been “very generous.” “They handled this from start to finish,” he said. The project was spearheaded by Bill York. Classmate Mike Hammer, the city superintendent of public works, enlisted help from city workers to get the base of brick and concrete constructed. York said that after the class held its 35th reunion, some of the organizers talked about creating a more permanent structure. In 2014, the Bowling Green High School Class of 1978 was created. In 2015, the foundation awarded its first scholarship for $1,000 and donated a couple benches that sit outside the school. This year a $2,500 scholarship was awarded, and the bobcat was purchased and placed. The idea for the bronze mascot came from members of the class, York said. They wanted something “unique” and enduring. It should be…


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…


College of Education honors Dr. G for her student-centered theater education

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Matt Webb knew of Jo Beth Gonzalez’s teaching mostly through his daughters’ experience in theater at Bowling Green High School. Katie is a high school junior who is in the improv troupe and in one acts, and the other, Liz, is a college junior who danced in the musicals. As students involved in theater they worked closely with Dr. G, who has taught theater at the school for 22 years. Neither girl, their father said, is a star, but both felt the drama teacher had a positive influence on them. His younger daughter told him that Dr. G was always preparing them for life. So when, in his role as the director of student and academic services in the Bowling Green State University College of Education and Human Development, Webb received an email asking for nominations for the college’s Educator of the Year award, he decided to submit her name. First he reached out to Gonzalez and asked for her curriculum vitae.  He learned the details, about the ground-breaking productions, the award-winning shows, two books. “I realized how stellar she is.” This week Gonzalez received the honor given to outstanding alumni and gave the keynote address to about 350 graduates of the college during their Capstone Day activities. As nominee, Gonzalez had to go through an interview process, almost like getting hired for a job. “It was a little nerve wracking,” she said in a recent interview. And she had to respond to a question, she hadn’t prepared for: What is the greatest challenge facing the nation and how does she address it in…


Old tunes find new listeners at concert for young & young at heart

With an audience made up largely of kids age 4 through 7, the line between moving to the music and fidgeting is pretty fine. It didn’t matter that the music was not only before their time – because everything is before their time – but before their parents’ time, and likely even before their grandparents’ time. The beat was good. A few youngsters broke out the dance steps, a few swayed in rhythm in their seats and a few fidgeted. Teachers know the difference. For its Young and Young at Heart concert Friday, the Bowling Green bands threw open the doors of the Performing Arts Center to senior citizens and pre-school, kindergarten and first graders from Kenwood, Conneaut and Crim. The older listeners mostly took up the back rows, while the front of the house was packed with kids, and their outnumbered teachers. After some preludes on marimba, the concert got underway with the high school’s jazz band, the Jazz Cats. Their short set was devoted to swing classics from the 1930s and 1940s. But what’s 70 years when one of the songs is named “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” which is deliciously funny to say. During the switch between the Jazz Cats and Symphonic Band, Band Director Bruce Corrigan demonstrated how that bugle boy blew those notes. More funny sounds, more laughs. Corrigan knew his audience. Then the Symphonic Band stepped forward with Morton Gould’s “American Salute,” a fantasy on “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” then a bit of musical magic, a piece featuring a flute solo by Lilly Rakas, and a musical tribute to bugs that included a couple…


BG high’s “Footloose” is about more than fancy footwork

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News This is not just some footloose and fancy free musical. The stage musical version of “Footloose,” a story told twice on the big screen, touches on some serious issues, said Jo Beth Gonzalez, who directs the theater program at Bowling Green High School. “There’s domestic violence,” she said, “loss of family, and death. … I actually think the stage play is richer.” And, of course, lots of dancing. It is, after all, called “Footloose.” “It’s a big dance show,” Gonzalez said.                     The musical will be on stage Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available at the center’s box office Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. The dancing is one of the reasons senior Logan Brown wanted to audition for the lead. He loves to dance and used to perform with his sister Lauren. Brown was excited that he would work with Bob Marzola, who is serving as choreographer. Brown has been in all the musicals during his high school career, he said.  He’s said he was “super excited” to be taking on the role of Ren Mac Cormack, a teenager from the east who ends up in a southern town where dancing has been banned. He’s an outsider “with daddy issues,” Brown said. He’s more than willing to push back against rules “that don’t make any sense.” “You just need to have fun with it,” Brown said. “There’s a lot going on.” When it was selected last…


Singers come from near & far to honor Jim Brown

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Those who knew Jim Brown will go the distance to honor his memory. Linda Gullufsen, who will direct the singers at a memorial for Brown Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Bowling Green, now lives in Tennessee. Others, such as Brandy Tell Mann who is now living in Youngstown, are traveling from far corners of the state. Others are coming from the East and West coasts and places in between. Gullufsen said that one singer arrived at the first rehearsal with an apology. She’d flown in from New York, but she was not able to come to the memorial service. Was it all right if she participated in the rehearsal? She wanted to do at least that to pay tribute to her former choral director. “That speaks volumes about the man being honored,” Gullufsen said. “He was revered enough in his life that they would make any sacrifice they could to be part of this choir,” she said.  And everyone comes with a story. Of course, many others are coming from Bowling Green where Brown was the high school choral director from 1966 to 2004 and an active member on the arts scene.“He was Mr. Music in this community,” said Ed O’Donnell who coordinated the music for the memorial service. Last Friday a handful of singers got together for more rehearsal on the music that will be sung. The four pieces, three sung by the full choir, were all chosen because they were closely connected to Brown. “Sing Me to Heaven” by Daniel Gawthrop is the most difficult piece and…


Gloria Gajewicz honored for home grown science teaching skills

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green teacher Gloria Gajewicz was inspired through her career by her own teachers, and further by her mother’s pursuit of education. So it is fitting that she should receive an award named for the late Neil Pohlmann, an educator and BGSU professor who left his mark on science education. Earlier this month Gajewicz won the first Neil Pohlman Award given by Bowling Green State University at the spring conference of the Northwest Ohio School Boards Association meeting. Patrick Pauken, director of the School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Policy, said the award “is given in recognition of valuable contribution to Educational Administration and Leadership Studies at BGSU.” Gajewicz is working on her doctorate in the program. The award carries a scholarship. Pauken wrote: “The faculty selected Gloria for the award because of her endless dedication to teaching, learning, and leading in our schools. She is an excellent graduate student, as well, inspiring her classmates with her professional stories of student success. Our classrooms and schools are special places, indeed, with teachers and leaders like Gloria Gajewicz.” Gajewicz has taught science for 20 years, the last 16 at her alma mater, Bowling Green High School where she teaches biology and honors physical science. Finishing her second semester of what she expects will be a four-year process, Gajewicz’s goal is to become a curriculum specialist with her particular interest in science. She said she was inspired to pursue science by the many great science teachers she had in the Bowling Green system. That included Roger Mazzarella, “the wizard of Mazz,” in seventh grade and Bob Rex in…


BG High welcomes area bands for adjudicated event this weekend

About 1,800 musicians from around Northwest Ohio will gather Friday and Saturday at Bowling Green High School to test their mettle in the Ohio Music Education Association’s band contest. So in addition to making sure they’re all tuned up and ready to perform their best, band director Bruce Corrigan, colleague Jeremy Sison and their charges as well as their parents, will also be on duty playing host to their counterparts from 34 bands in a six county area. It’s a big job, Corrigan said. Each band has to have a home room assigned. And then six spaces have to be set up to accommodate full bands – two rooms for warm up, two rooms for sight reading, and two spaces for performance. All those spaces must be fitted out with music stands, percussion instruments, and chairs. The high school borrowed music stands and percussion equipment from the Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts, which is conveniently on break this week. Corrigan said other area band directors offered to help, but he said he didn’t want to inconvenience them when they were preparing for the event. The host band, Corrigan said, is responsible for handling all the paperwork involving the bands and adjudicators. Arrangements for hotel rooms for those judges must also be made. And then there’s all that traffic to direct. All this and more takes an army of volunteers, both adults and students. It’s been about 25 years, he said, since Bowling Green has hosted the Large Ensemble Adjudicated Event. For most of that time, Sylvania Southview has been the host. Corrigan said the school’s new Performing…


BGHS percussionist brings talents to All-State band

From Bowling Green High School Band Frances Zengel, a junior at Bowling Green high school, is one of the select few chosen to participate in the 2016 OMEA All-State Band. Students began practicing the challenging audition materials for the All State Band in the spring. They submitted recordings of their audition to a committee which listened to all of the applicants’ recordings received from high school students throughout the state of Ohio. Frances, one of eight percussionists selected from the state of Ohio, will be rehearsing with the All-State Band this week in preparation for their performance at the Ohio Music Educators Conference in Cincinnati on Friday, January 29th. Throughout Zengel’s six years in the BG City Schools band program, she has participated in many performing ensembles including OMEA District One Honor Bands, BGSU Reading Clinic, Capital University Reading Clinic, Toledo Youth Orchestra (principal chair), All Ohio State Fair Band and many more. She has performed in the Solo & Ensemble Event each year as a soloist (marimba, snare drum, timpani) receiving superior ratings. Her musical training comprises many well-respected teachers and mentors such as Dr. Isabel Huang, Dr. Robert Bell, Mr. Dave Nelson, Katie Brown and the late Dr. Roger Schupp. “I will always remember Frances for the first day that she entered the BG middle school band room” recalls Bruce Corrigan (band director). “Her mother, Marian Zengel, was showing her around the school. Immediately, her eyes widened as she saw the many percussion instruments that she was going to get to play. She was enthralled with the possibilities. Corrigan continued, “Percussionists often show a strong interest in snare…