Alder board hears from students, honors Lovejoys

Austin Heiss, a student at Jonathan Alder Junior High, talks about how he made a bridge structure in engineering class. The class is one of four electives offered at the junior high in collaboration with Tolles Career and Technical Center.

(Posted Feb. 14, 2018)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

Jonathan Alder school board members recently learned more about an ongoing collaboration between the district and neighboring Tolles Career and Technical Center.

At the Feb. 12 school board meeting, several Jonathan Alder Junior High School students showed off the work they’ve done in classes funded by Tolles and taught at the junior high.

Student Jonas Watkins displayed a three-dimensional project he made with a Star Wars theme. Austin Heiss talked about the robot and bridge structures he created. Winston Yoder explained how he used computer software to create spreadsheets that he then used to turn into informational charts and graphs.

The partnership between Tolles and Jonathan Alder started three years ago at both the junior high and the high school.

“We wanted more opportunities to expose our students to career fields and engineering and information technology fields,” explained Misty Swanger, Jonathan Alder assistant superintendent.

At the time the partnership was forged, Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s budget was calling for an expansion of such opportunities at the junior high level.

At Jonathan Alder, that resulted in elective classes in applied computer science and engineering exploration for seventh-graders and in future information technology and applied engineering for eighth-graders.

Tolles supplies the teachers, who are on site every day, all day at the junior high, and the equipment, which includes a three-dimensional printer, robots, and high-speed laptop computers.

“What we do in class has a real-life connection,” said Emmy Beeson, Tolles superintendent. “We try to stress to the kids: ‘What is your passion, your skills and where can you put them to use?’ ”

Located in Plain City, Tolles offers classes in a variety of disciplines, from auto body to pharmacy to cosmetology.

“We touch the lives of about 1,000 students a day, and about 700 of them are at Tolles,” Beeson said. The others are at satellite locations at schools in nearby districts.

Jonathan Alder district leaders present the Lovejoy family with a plaque recognizing their long-time dedication to the school district: (from left) Charles and Cindy Lovejoy; Marylou Lovejoy; Kelly Hicks, Plain City Elementary principal; Denise English, administrative assistant in the district’s student services department; and Tammy Stalnaker, a teacher at Canaan Middle School.

Lovejoys thanked

The school board honored the Lovejoy family for their dedication and service to Jonathan Alder Schools. The family owned Lovejoy’s Market in Plain City. The grocery store closed in December after more than 60 years in business.

“They were an institution when I came here six years ago,” said Superintendent Gary Chapman. “It’s a pleasure and an honor to recognize their friendship.”

“Whether it is a carnival or the Booster Bash, someone from the Lovejoy family is involved,” said Kelly Hicks, principal at Plain City Elementary. “If something needed ordered, you’d order it. If it needed delivered, you’d deliver it.”

Grants and donations

The board accepted several grants and donations, including $5,000 from the Nestle Co. for nutrition and health items at Plain City Elementary. Hicks noted that Nestle also has established a pen pal program with fourth-graders. She said the program is designed to show children that pen pals don’t have to be far away.

Other grants and donations include: a 2005 Continental cargo trailer worth $4,400 to the Music Boosters; anonymous donations of $40 to the Plain City Elementary cafeteria and $100 to the Monroe Elementary cafeteria for school lunches; a $700 field trip grant from Target to the junior high school; and a $100 DonorsChoose grant to Plain City Elementary for Lincoln Logs, wooden alphabet stamps, alphabet magnets and magnetic tiles.

Other business

The board also approved:

– the purchase of a 78-passenger bus for $85,000 from Cardinal Bus Sales;

– an overnight trip for the girls’ volleyball team to Sylvania for the Challenge USA Team Camp July 16-18; and

– an overnight trip for the girls’ soccer team to the Mason Pre-season Classic July 20-22.

The next board meeting will be March 12 at Monroe Elementary.

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