TWINSBURG — Wilcox Primary School named as a 2018 Hall of Fame School by the Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators.

Four of five Twinsburg schools receiving a Purple Star Award from the Ohio Department of Education for their support of military-connected students.

The launch of the Twinsburg Academy — or passing a renewal levy earlier this week.

These are just a few of the highlights shared by Superintendent Kathryn Powers at this year’s State of the Schools address May 10 at the Twinsburg Hilton Garden Inn. The talk is sponsored by the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce.

"Today’s presentation only touches the tip of the iceberg in terms of the programs we offer," Powers said.

Generally at a State of the Schools address, the district superintendent will do the lion’s share — or, perhaps more appropriate in this case, the Tiger’s share — of the presentation. But this year, teachers and students in the district also shared goings-on in their classrooms and schools to the full room of local officials, Chamber of Commerce members, school administrators and other guests.

Staff members from Wilcox Primary School highlighted The Coffee Crew, a new program that sees students with special needs deliver coffee, muffins and doughnuts to staff members at the school. Beth Wells, special education teacher, said students take orders from the teachers and make the deliveries, among other things.

"Many students have communication delays, so this activity is a challenge for them," Wells said.

At Samuel Bissell Elementary School, students engaged in monthly activities with the theme of Grit + STREAM, said Tina Magyar, reading specialist teacher. For example, during the Winter Olympics, students studied the science behind winter sports such as curling, ice skating and snowboarding.

Several students at Dodge Intermediate School highlighted what they did throughout the year, including a study of the Iditarod and several books they read. The school’s Doodle Club also was spotlighted for their work on designing a colorful work of art on an electric box just outside the school.

At R.B. Chamberlin Middle School, teacher John Koutras said that the school’s eighth-grade students were able to participate in Project Lead the Way, a pre-engineering program, for the first time. Renderings the students completed were shown at the address as Koutras pointed out the design work involved. The students, he added, were going to do the presentation, except they were in Washington, D.C. on a three-day trip.

Speaking of the D.C. trip, Powers commended the district’s school board for agreeing to cover $125,000 in costs for the students to go after the company they had contracted with cancelled the trip and refused to contact the district.

At Twinsburg High School, the Twinsburg Academy, which seeks to present unique, streamlined work force opportunities for students, had a successful first year, said Norman Potter, curriculum supervisor.

"The success of the Twinsburg Academy can be attributed to our partners, as well as our dedicated students and parents," Potter said. "As of last night, we have had 130 students who have participated in at least one of our programs. When we started, we were aiming for five business partners. Today, we have more than 50. I’m getting calls every day, asking how we are accomplishing this and what we are doing."

The high school also has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the 14th best high school in Northeast Ohio, for the second year in a row, according to a recent report released May 9 by U.S. News, Powers said. The high school is also ranked 42nd in the state out of 822 ranked public high schools, which places it in the top 5 percent of high schools in the state, and is ranked in the top percent of all high schools nationwide.

"It has been a tremendous year of learning and growing within the schools," Powers said.

Awards and scholarships

Three graduating high school seniors received scholarships that afternoon from the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce. Cassidy Moore was awarded a $1,000 scholarship, and both Phrabhleen Multani and Emily O’Connor were given $500 scholarships.

Michelle Willmott, director of marketing for Visual Marking Systems in Twinsburg and a chamber member, presented the scholarships.

"The applications we received were exceptional," she said.

In addition, the Rotary Club of Twinsburg named Megan Holzheimer, an English teacher at Twinsburg High School, Teacher of the Year.

Holzheimer graduated in 2009 from the University of Dayton with a bachelor’s degree in English, and minored in journalism and women’s studies, according to information provided by the Rotary. She completed her teaching licensure program at Notre Dame College in 2012 and then completed her master’s degree in education in 2014 from the same school.

She presently teaches English 9, 10, and speech and communications. Holzheimer has been a teacher with the Twinsburg schools for four years. She is currently back in graduate school to receive her principal’s license from Cleveland State University through their Inspired Leaders Program.

The Rotary presented Holzheimer with a check for $250 for her classroom.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, ahelms@recordpub.com, or ??@AprilKHelms_RPC??