I can’t believe another school year is coming to a close. This is the time the schools are busy wrapping up the year, which includes honoring a bunch of great kids, teachers and volunteers. As we wind down another year, I am constantly grateful for the opportunity to serve in the best school district in Ohio!

Thank You, Voters: Thanks to all who voted on May 7. We are grateful for all who participated in this democratic process, and we are grateful the community overwhelmingly supported Issue 3.

I know that with a passing levy comes a huge responsibility to be fiscally responsible. Trust is a cathedral built a brick at a time, and we will continue to do all we can to be good stewards of resources you provide. I am always available for feedback either through phone call (330-908-6202) or email (joe.clark@nordoniaschools.org) if you have concerns with how the schools are running.

So what comes next? As promised, with Issue 3 passing, there will be no changes to busing for the 2019-20 school year and beyond.

Also, we have already had two meetings to discuss which of the 38 positions we eliminated will be returned. We believe that ultimately most positions will be returned, but we want to make sure to give our due diligence before finalizing anything. Our goal is to have everything decided and employees informed within the next few weeks.

As you may have seen in a previous announcement, we have spent much of this year developing what’s called a Portrait of a Graduate. Nordonia’s Portrait will be a document outlining the skills the community believes are most vital for graduating seniors to have to be prepared for college, the military and the workforce. Once finalized, we will begin an audit of the courses we offer at NHS to see which we need to eliminate and which we need to add to support the Portrait.

To give you an idea, many school districts now offer courses in robotics, engineering, American Sign Language and orchestra, to name a few. The creation of the Portrait, combined with Issue 3 passing, allows us to investigate offering these and other courses to raise the level of rigor and increase opportunities for students to learn skills the future job market will demand.

And regarding facilities, the high school roof is our top priority, and work will begin on that almost immediately after school lets out for the summer. We also set a meeting with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. This state agency will do a free analysis of our facilities and provide a report detailing where we should focus our repair efforts. We have an idea of what areas need the most work, but we want an unbiased look so we make sure we are as responsible as we can be with the resources you’ve provided.

Senior Awards: On May 2, students in the Nordonia High School class of 2019 were honored at the annual awards assembly. As of today, NHS seniors have won more than $7.5 million in scholarships, including more than $70,000 in local scholarships. Thanks to the generous employees of the Nordonia Schools, students were awarded scholarships from the Nordonia Hills Educators Association, OAPSE Local No. 246, the district secretarial staff, and the central office staff.

A variety of local organizations also awarded many scholarships. We have so many generous donors, I risk leaving someone off of this extensive list.

However, thanks to Friends of the Nordonia Hills Library; Nordonia Athletic Boosters; the Nordonia Club; the Nordonia Hills Chamber of Commerce; Rotary Club of Nordonia Hills; the Nordonia Hills Garden Club; Nordonia Hills Lions Club; the Nordonia Alumni Association; the Nordonia Hills Council of PTAs; the Olde Northfield Historic Preservation Association; Brandywine Players; Camp Huddle; Macedonia Firefighters Association; OAPSE Local No. 246; and the PTAs of Ledgeview Elementary, Lee Eaton, Nordonia High School, Nordonia Middle School, Northfield Elementary and Rushwood Elementary for providing support to our graduates as they head off to college.

Many scholarships were also granted by individuals, or in memoriam of individuals.

Again, the list is so long I risk forgetting someone, but thanks to these individuals or their families for their generosity: Ray Kujawinski, Nancy Fike, Chuck Sterling, Bob Fitzgerald, Robert Hoeffler, Thomas and Debra Dirmyer, William Boliantz, the Gardiner family, Jeanne and Emery Muncie, the Mackerty family, the Martin family, the Pendleton family, the Mather Family, Christine and Guido DiGeronimo, Oliver Ocasek, Robert and Janet McMinn, and Roger A. Forman. The generosity of our community never ceases to amaze me.

PTA Installation and Recognition Dinner: The annual Nordonia PTA/PTSA Installation and Recognition Dinner was held on May 1 at the NHS cafeteria. The annual dinner recognizes Educators of the Year, Helping Hands awardees, and Ohio PTA Achievements recipients, and installs officers for the coming school year.

Outstanding Educators recognized were Jason Lara (NHS), Matt Spellman (Middle School), Amy Sopata (Lee Eaton), Beth Petracco (Ledgeview), Dr. Jacqueline O’Mara (Rushwood), and Michelle Harmon (Northfield). In addition, Matt Spellman was named the Nordonia Educator of the Year and will represent us at the PTA District 13 level.

The Ohio PTA Achievement Award is the highest honor a PTA can bestow upon an individual. It is awarded to someone who has given outstanding service to children and youth, such as serving as an advocate for children in health, education, safety or legislation. The following individuals received PTA Achievement Awards at the May 2 banquet: Officer Glenn Nicholl, Ledgeview; Cindy May, Northfield; Steve St. Andrassy, Rushwood; Jolynn McFerren, Lee Eaton; Kathy Doblar, Middle School; and Roger Lohrey and Dave Broman, High School.

The Helping Hands Award is given to a fellow PTA member who provides PTA involvement or support, has made a positive impact on the lives of children, has participated in activities involving children and youth, and is dedicated to the mission and purposes of the PTA. At the May 2 banquet, Helping Hands Awards were presented to: Michael Wolfe (Middle School), Julie Moran (Lee Eaton), Ann Marie Garvey (NHS and District), Amanda Coon (Ledgeview), Lori May (Rushwood), and Rebecca Wolfe (Northfield).

NHEA Teacher of the Year: Congratulations to NHS science teacher John O’Brien for being selected as Nordonia Hills Educators’ Association Teacher of the Year. His continued dedication and leadership to Nordonia Hills City Schools is commendable. Also nominated was NHS math teacher Samantha Fales.

Congratulations to all of our student, parent, and educator award winners! As always, thanks for supporting the Nordonia Schools, have a great month, and remember to follow me on Twitter @DrJoeClark.