I used to be afraid of teenagers
Two years ago I was asked to serve as president of the Canal Winchester Performing Arts Boosters (CWPAB). I have never been a fan of high school age children but agreed to take the position.
In these two years, I have come to realize these young adults are amazing, dedicated, and enjoyable people. The students in the CW Performing Arts (choir, marching band, Winchester Steel Band, concert band, guitar, and drama department) are some of the best our school system has to offer. They work long hours, they generally get good grades and treat their teachers with respect. It took a while, but I no longer fear them. I respect them.
The CWPAB is purchasing a new piano to replace the un-tunable relic currently in use. Our organization sold countless hot dogs and sodas in fall sports concessions to raise funds for the normal expenses of the performing arts groups. The piano is electronic so to be lightweight and portable to be used by all the different performing arts groups and make our dollars more efficient.
As of this point we have raised $5,300 toward a budget of $5000-$5,500. Through the teamwork of community leaders, business supporters of the performing arts, family members of Canal Winchester students, CW teachers, and friends of the performing arts we are able to raise enough funding to pay for this piano. This effort will be accomplished without a single cent of taxpayer money and the piano will become the property of CW Schools. Every time that someone touches one of its keys it will be a tribute to the generosity of the Canal Winchester community.
Thank you for your support.
Be safe over the holidays
The staff of the Groveport Police Department wish everyone a safe holiday season. We encourage you to wear your seat belts, keep your child in the correct child restraint seat or booster seat. In addition, keep your valuables locked up as guests arrive to spend time with you.
As a member of the community, keep an eye out for your neighbor. If they are elderly, please check and see if they are ok.
I also wish to thank Mayor Westcamp for his continual support of the police department, as well as city council. To the many friends and citizens who have been so kind to us all year long and especially at the Christmas season for bringing in goodies while our police officers serve the community 24 hours everyday without fail. The officers are not just public servants but true guardians of the community.
Throughout the year we have appreciated our adjoining community public safety agencies, especially Madison Township Fire, Madison Township Police, Obetz Police and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department for providing assistance to us when needed.
We also thank the Southeast Messenger for allowing our service announcements to be sent to the residents.
Groveport Police encourage each of you to drive safely, let other licensed drivers bring you home if you had that one drink too many, so we all can spend time with our families.
Ralph J. Portier, chief of police
City of Canal Winchester says thanks
On behalf of the City of Canal Winchester, I want thank everyone, residents and nonresidents, individuals, families and associations, who donated their time, efforts, money and goods this past year in helping make Canal Winchester the best little city in the state of Ohio.
Without you, the volunteers, it would not have been possible to do the things we did in 2011, events like Art in the Park, The Labor Day Festival and its annual parade and car show, The Blues and Rib Fest, Christmas in the Village, Breakfast with Santa, Farmers Market, tire sweeps of our streams, highway trash pickup, Community Center painting, We Remember 9/11 Ceremony, Veterans Day photo display, city planning committees, planning and zoning commission, landmarks commission, board of review and the street tree advisory board.
We thank everyone who pitched in and hope you will continue to do so as we look forward to another exciting year in Canal Winchester in 2012.
Mike Ebert, mayor
City of Canal Winchester
Thank you Groveport
I want to thank all of the individuals in the Groveport community and many, kind and thoughtful teachers, parents and students for voting for me in the November election.
Although, I did not get re-elected to the Groveport Madison School Board, it was a pleasure running and having your support. The competition was good and it served as a reminder of why I love this community and want to help it become better.
I have witnessed many changes in Groveport Madison Schools and I’m proud of the progress that has been made. Yet, I know there is much more work to accomplish and, as a community member, will continue working toward achieving that goal. I love the children in this district, my children and grandchildren are a part of the school district, and I have been here 20 years and have a vested interest in what happens in this district. I may not be on the board, but I am not going anywhere and plan to stay involved.
I want to say, thank you to GMLEA for also supporting and believing in me. Your support means a lot because I know you are there for the teachers, parents, and students in the district. I believe there is a time a place for everything and know the time may come again for me to serve the district. With that being said, I hope to have to opportunity to run for the school board in the future and will work hard to make it a reality with your support in this effort. Again, thank you very much for your support!
Dr. Naomi Sealey
Community comes together
In 2005, after a career in the field of corrections and many years of coaching experience, I decided to go back to school to earn a masters of arts in teaching. I enjoyed my time in public service, but realized I wanted to have a greater impact in my community. I felt my time as a coach would prepare me for the classroom. My three years as a teacher at Groveport Madison High School have been filled with many life lessons and memorable moments. I genuinely look forward to each day.
One of the first people I met when I was hired at GMHS was Kristine Ensign. She was introduced as the go-to person when teachers had questions about technology in the building. During my first year at GMHS, there were several times that I needed Kris’ assistance with my SmartBoard and other technological issues. I slowly began to get to know Kris better and realized that she has been battling one health scare after another, but she never, ever complains. Kris is the epitome of an optimist. When asked how she is doing, she always says "good." It took a long while for her to finally admit that she is sometimes tired or maybe that that day isn’t her best. However, she still never complains.
When Kris was diagnosed with angiosarcoma last year, everyone was concerned. She, however, was resolute. She did not let this diagnosis get the best of her. She seemed to be weathering the storm of travel, chemo and doctor’s appointments well. Her hair grew back in over the summer, but by August she was dealt a blow…the cancer had spread. She has spent the beginning of the school year again juggling chemo, doctor’s appointments and traveling to Texas for care. She has lost her hair, and her steps are a bit slower, but her spirit is the same. She does not want to miss school; she says she misses the students. She continues to serve as the winter facility manager and the assistant varsity softball coach. She won’t be defeated.
When the idea of a walk to benefit cancer was introduced at a GM student council meeting in September, co-advisor Kristin Cline jumped at the chance to honor one of our own. She suggested a walk for Ms. Ensign. Senior Manda Moberly raised her hand and offered to head it up. She shared some of her ideas, enlisted assistance, and the rest is history. Thanks to the efforts of this 17-year-old student, GM student council has raised $10,025! Manda handled every detail of every event during the five week period leading up to and including the Mission Ensign Walk. She left nothing to chance. She designed and ordered bracelets, key chains and t-shirts; organized three benefit days at local restaurants, and motivated students and staff to give.
Because of Manda’s amazing attention to detail, we were able to far exceed our goal of $2,500. I am thankful for the outpouring of community support, especially from the schools in our district. Dunloe Elementary student council raised $436, Madison and Groveport elementary student councils raised $100, and Groveport Junior High student council raised $250. I am also grateful for Mrs. Lowe, GMHS English teacher, and sophomore Archie Williams who led the effort to collect pop can tabs, which will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House. This cause, which is dear to Ms. Ensign’s heart, will receive over 300,000 pop can tabs, which translates into money used for children’s cancer research.
The move to become a teacher is one that I am happy about every single day. Working in a community that embraces charitable values makes my days even better. I am lucky to know Ms. Ensign, and I am proud to help her in her fight. I am also proud to be surrounded by amazing students and excited to see what they will do in the future. The future is indeed bright.
GMHS social studies teacher
GM student council co-advisor
Questioning the Groveport Madison school board’s views on HB 136
As a resident of Ohio who has no children in school, I want to address several points included in the recent Southeast Messenger article as to why Groveport Madison school board members oppose the state voucher proposal HB 136.
I get sick and tired of having my wealth redistributed without my permission or consent through never-ending school levies. Every election cycle there is another urgent and critical need for more money, or dire consequences will transpire, e.g., transportation cuts, sports program cuts, scheduling class hours after dark, etc., including anything that will send the students home to harass their parents. It is common knowledge that anytime union-supported wealth distribution schemes loom, e.g., school levies, the dire predictions begin.
With Issue 2 for example, our houses were going to spontaneously ignite and burn because the firemen’s unions needed the money; our families/homes would be raped and pillaged because the law enforcement unions needed the funds. Several years ago the Groveport Madison school board was crying about what desperate straits they were in because there was so much overcrowding. Then some enterprising soul uncovered the fact that there were more students in the system in the 1970′s, specifically 1974 I believe, than there were concurrent with the needs for more money.
Referring to comments about HB 136 made by school board members, one board member said, "it is certain state tax dollars that currently go to public schools would be utilized to subsidize charter school tuition." Another stated, "You would think that a bill that re-allocates state aid and local money would be for…the betterment of education." Still another, "What I’m opposed to is the taking of public funds for educating kids in private schools…which may have practices that violate the separation of church and state, and which would diminish the ability of our public schools to continue to educate all our children in an excellent manner." In a similar vein, the school board president states, "HB 136 takes money from public schools and gives it to private and parochial schools. This could be viewed as mixing religion with government."
In response, I say why shouldn’t money that has been taken without consent be allocated towards private institutions which have a proven track record of better education? Referring to the remark, "…and which would diminish the ability of the public schools to continue to educate all our children in an excellent manner," I offer this bit of information from the article "International Test Scores – Poor U.S. Test Results Tied To Weak Curriculum: "…an insightful explanation was once proffered by Jean McLaughlin, president of Barry University who confided, ‘The public schools lack focus; instead of concentrating on education, they dabble in social re-engineering.’ That assessment was confirmed by the superintendent of the country’s fourth largest school district in Miami-Dade, Fla., who said ‘Half our job is education, and the other half is social work.’"
As far as "the separation of church and state" remark mentioned, that’s not a constitutional issue because the separation of church and state is not mentioned in the Constitution. The phrase was extracted from a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802, where he was responding to correspondence from the Danbury, Connecticut Baptist Association wherein he quoted the First Amendment in reference. It must be pointed out Jefferson did not sign the Constitution, was not present at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and was out of the country during the discussion over religious freedom within the First Amendment.
A recent article I read addressed the allocation of NEA union dues. Only four percent of union dues are dedicated to the improvement of teaching/education. Four percent! A large part goes to politicking for the Democrat party. I saw with my own eyes signs in the Glendening Elementary school windows campaigning for Ted Strickland during that cycle’s gubernatorial race. A large part of the remaining largess goes for bureaucratic expenses, i.e., payroll, bonuses and retirement funds.
It is apparent that more emphasis is placed on the practicing of "proficiency tests" in order to ensure federal funding and political indoctrination to the agenda of the NEA/Democrat party, than is placed on graduating students with knowledge and the ability to make their own decisions.
I do not support the agenda of the Democrat party, or any political party agenda being indoctrinated into students, and I do not agree with the unconsented redistribution of my wealth for the support of said political agendas and coffers of education system bureaucrats, and the political indoctrination of other people’s children.
Philip W. Starr