School News By Steve Poe, Superintendent
Put-in-Bay Schools recently received recognition from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence in Education Program. According to the EPA, this designation recognizes the “efforts to foster the student’s environmental stewardship creativity while also incorporating environmental and sustainable concepts into school curriculum.” A few of the items that helped our district to achieve this honor were: having a school-wide recycling program run by our high school Environmental Club; the installation of water bottle filling stations, direct instruction about environmental preservation issues; and helping to improve our local environment by conducting beach and woodland clean-up activities. Congratulations to high school science teacher, Missi Kowalski and the Environmental Club for their continued environmental stewardship that made this recognition possible.
Speaking of science, grades 7-12 participated in a day filled with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities on Friday, February 12th. Students competed in a variety of events including science trivia games, engineering design challenges created to withstand Mr. Kowalski’s 90 mph tennis ball cannon, and even participated in a science themed escape room. The overall STEM winner for the day this year was senior Lucille Schneider, who took home the prestigious “Newton Cup.” Also taking place that day was the 7th annual Science Fair. Judging was completed virtually with our STEM experts Zooming in to provide feedback to students. As a result of many school districts being closed due to the pandemic this year, the Ohio Academy of Science has deemed that ALL students completing science fair projects are eligible to compete at the District Science Fair. Many Put-in-Bay students have opted to continue their work and go on to participate at the District Science Fair, which will be held virtually in March. We wish them luck in moving forward!
Back on November 1st, 2020 at six in the morning, the Panther basketball team started their yearly journey to improve skills and build teamwork. But this year’s season had many obstacles. The team was not just battling opposing teams but the invisible enemy of Covid-19. Coach Schuffenecker took precautions and changed practice drills to keep the team healthy. Just one Covid case on the team could have derailed the team and placed them into quarantine. With numerous game cancellations, the team maintained a positive attitude and finished the season with success. Coach Schuffenecker is proud of the effort the team displayed. Seniors Talii Steidl, Nora Ladd, Elena Schroeder, and Lucy Schneider did not have the senior season they hoped for, but they have a lot to be proud of for their years of playing Panther basketball.
The Panthers look forward to a return to normal for the 2021-22 season. Some visible changes are going to take place for the athletic program prior to the start of next season. The gym floor will be resurfaced and painted with school logos, and four-row retractable bleachers will be installed. These projects will be a great addition to the school as we look forward to hosting the 2021 Great Lakes Island Basketball tournament. Put-in-Bay has invited Beaver Island, Mackinac Island, and Washington Island for a two-day island basketball tournament the first weekend of December. As always, GO PANTHERS and get your GROWL ON!
The past month has been an eventful one for Put-in-Bay students taking physical education. Grades five through nine and the high school advanced physical education class competed in a school wide tournament in the sports of badminton, ping pong, and pickleball. Students in each class period worked hard and competed in single-round elimination tournaments. Congratulations to all participants and to the champions: Lukas Kostura (ping pong and pickleball) and Ava Heineman (badminton).
On Thursday, January 28th, all ten 4th, 5th and 6th grade students competed in a local Spelling Bee. Winners were Caleb Kowalski (4th), Ava Fiorilli (5th), and Emma Michael (6th). All students proudly represented Put-in-Bay School and the winners received bragging rights on their lockers, as well as a certificate to be awarded in the spring at our annual awards day ceremony.
Every student has the opportunity to work hard and experience academic success while attending school. Four years of determination and tenacity highlights student’s efforts and achievement during high school. This year, Put-in-Bay School is proud to announce The Class of 2021 Valedictorian and Salutatorian. Congratulations to both Nora Ladd, senior class Valedictorian and Elena Schroeder, senior class Salutatorian in earning this accomplishment. Nora Ladd is the daughter of Chris and Heidi Ladd. Elena Schroeder is the daughter of Brit Schroeder and Marie Schroeder.
Each year junior girls from across the state have the opportunity to participate in Buckeye Girls State. Buckeye Girls State is an opportunity to educate Ohio’s young women in the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of good citizenship. Students learn about city, county and state government. The 2021 Buckeye Girls State,
Put-in-Bay High School representative is Kathryn Byrnes. Kathryn is the daughter of Michael and Susan Byrnes. Congratulations! Thank you to the efforts of Bernie Meyers and the Put-in-Bay American Legion for sponsoring our students.
Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) is a program for sophomore boys and girls. Students have the opportunity to realize their leadership potential and talents, then apply them in becoming effective leaders in their home, school, workplace and community. Students attend a seminar in the summer where they develop these skills. Put-in-Bay has consistently sent students to participate in this program. Students return with a confidence and excitement in what they can do to better their school and environment. Four students will represent Put-in-Bay school at HOBY. McKenna Stacy, daughter of Robert Stacy and Kristi Stacy will be joined by Alice Lentz, daughter of Julie Leopold, Macy Ladd, daughter of Chris and Heidi Ladd and Lilian Frederick, daughter of Todd Frederick. HOBY is usually held on the campus of Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio. This year, the 2021 experience will be held virtually.
The 2021 – 2022 school calendar was sent home with progress reports. It is also posted on our school website www.put-in-bay.k12.oh.us.
The previous piece is published in this month’s Put-in-Bay Gazette. The Gazette has been producing incredible independent Put-in-Bay island news for over 40 years. If you have any interest at all in what is happening on South Bass Island, we urge you strongly to subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette. One-year online subscriptions are only $15, and print subscriptions are available as well. To subscribe please click here.
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