Superintendent's Corner: A new season, and new accomplishments

Dr. Joe Clark, Superintendent
Nordonia Hills City Schools
Nordonia Hills City Schools recently recognized five students who chose to join the U.S. Armed Forces.

April showers bring May flowers!

Of course, flowers are a welcome sight. It means we are starting to wind down the most unusual school year ever. I could not be more grateful to our staff, students and families for doing all they can to ensure we have stayed safe and open. Remember to wear your masks, maintain distance from others, and wash your hands often. If students are feeling sick, they should stay home.

I am confident that the 2021-22 school year will be back to normal as much as possible. As always, I will keep the community updated of any modifications we will need to make. Until then, let's all remain vigilant until this pandemic is completely behind us.

There is also plenty of exciting news in the schools. Let me share some with you.

Military signing ceremony: On March 23, Nordonia High School held a military signing event to recognize those Seniors who have chosen a military branch as part of their future plans.  

Congratulations to the following students and thank you for your service: Sam Blepp - United States Navy; Jackson Harris - United States Air Force; Izac Iglesias - United States Army; Sean Garvey - ROTC; and Jake Mackniak - ROTC.

Science Olympiad shines again: Congratulations to the Nordonia High School Science Olympiad team as they compete at the state level on April 10.  This year, all Science Olympiad competitions have been digital only but we wish them the best of luck as they move on to the next level. Coached by Sean Sandvick, the team members are: Gavin Bozan, Cole Gabel, Robin Ghotra, Matthew Kerosky, William Lang, Jackson Malloy, Alex Picoult, Lorna Picoult, Meg Picoult, Aiden Sedor, Zachary Strong, Ethan Rokarz, Keirstin Trehan, Evan White, Spencer Will, and Lily McCoy.

Mock Trial returned to state competition: For the second time in six years, the Nordonia High School Mock Trial team was among the best in the state, placing in the top 11 teams.

With over 300 teams competing, Nordonia took part in a virtual state competition on March 11. The team competed in the Nordonia High School library with parents and students watching live in the auditorium. Student lawyers and witnesses gave outstanding performances, preparing for months for this moment. The team is coached by Farhad Sethna and Endre Szentkiralyi. The team consists of student attorneys Riley Jarosz, Matthew Kerosky, Stella Naymik, and Elizabeth Waight, as well as witnesses Julia Dulaney, Robin Ghotra, Darayus Sethna, and Natalie Wurts, along with timekeeper Rory Maynard.

Kindergarten registration now open: If you have a child turning 5 years old before Aug. 1, please consider enrolling them for kindergarten as soon as possible. When parents enroll their kids early, we are able to adjust our staffing accordingly. Parents who wait to register their children until summer may have their children placed in a different building. . 

Please note, this year we have implemented an April 30 deadline to register for all-day kindergarten. Children not enrolled in kindergarten by April 30 will only have the part-time option. This is to assist us in planning our staffing appropriately.

To help make the registration process as easy as possible, we have compiled a packet of printable materials located at www.nordoniaschools.org. These items can also be picked up in the lobby of the Board of Education or at the Nordonia Hills Public Library. Please complete the packet prior to registering and present all forms and documents required by the Board of Education to the registrar in order for your child to be enrolled into the Nordonia Hills City School District. 

To schedule an individual appointment, please call Maria at 330-467-0580.

Bus driver shines: Great job to Nordonia bus driver Paula Hupcey. A few weeks ago a community member was hit from behind by a semi truck who fled the scene. Paula was going past, on her way back to the bus garage. She was at a spot where she couldn't stop, but after returning her bus to the bus garage, she returned to the scene of the accident to make sure the driver was okay and to give a witness statement. The only reason the driver knew the name of the trucking company is because Paula was aware of her surroundings while driving and was able to see it. The police were able to then go to the truck yard to find the driver. Great job, Paula!

Student safety remains top priority: We are approaching our renewal with GoGuardian, the company that provides internet filtering and teacher monitoring software for our district Chromebooks. A key component of GoGuardian is the self-harm alerting features. GoGuardian now offers more robust features for our counselors and administrators to respond to potentially serious situations.

After in-depth conversations with our administrative team and our counselors, we have decided to take those features to the next level with GoGuardian 24/7. This is the highest level of service that the company offers, and will provide us with 24/7 live monitoring of students searching for potentially life-threatening things like suicide or human trafficking.

Understand that this does not mean we are monitoring students’ every keystroke. But, if a student types certain, potentially dangerous terms, it sends an alert to GoGuardian for more in depth review and possible intervention by school staff.

As always, thanks for supporting the Nordonia Schools, have a great month, and remember to follow me on Twitter @DrJoeClark.