A Publication of the Oakwood Schools

Volume 2, No. 2
March 2009
The 2009 US News and World Report “America’s Best High
Schools” edition has awarded Oakwood High School a silver
medal. The magazine analyzed 21,069 public high schools in
the United States using a three-step process. The first two steps
ensured that the schools served all students well based on state
proficiency standards. Those schools that met the first two criteria were then examined for how well they prepared students
for college-level work as measured by the number of students
who took at least one Advanced Placement test and scored a 3 or
higher (on a 5-point scale).
Out of 821 high schools analyzed in Ohio, only 38 were
awarded a silver medal. Nationally, 504 highs schools out of the
21,069 were awarded silver medals.
Dr. Mary Jo Scalzo, superintendent of Oakwood Schools stated
that the difference between a silver and gold medal is a function
Contributed by Kimberly Kappler Hewitt
and Christy Smith, South Connection Director
South Connection and Lange School students have created a
living “thank you” card to Rich and Kitty Lange, whose recent
generous donation of $10,000 to Lange School provided for
the development of an additional outdoor learning space called
Buzzy’s Block House. Named in memory of Mr. Lange’s high
school classmate, Buzzy Pierce, the “house” that you see in the
background is loaded with hundreds of large building blocks,
as well as other learning and play equipment. All of the equipment can be used on the authentic Astroturf, which provides a
level, dry area on which students can build and display their
A Publication of the Oakwood Schools
of the percentage of high school students who take Advanced Placement courses. Currently, Oakwood offers 15 AP classes.
Only four schools in Ohio were awarded gold medals. “We simply
do not have as high a percentage of students taking AP courses as the
gold medal schools,” said Scalzo. “However, we offer other types of
college level courses that are not measured in the study.”
More specifically, this year Oakwood offered a dual enrollment
Global Politics course by partnering with the University of Dayton.
Next year, the high school will offer students a dual enrollment Chinese course through Wright State. Students will receive college credit
for their work. Dr. Scalzo continued, “There are now more options
for rigorously preparing students for college that are not addressed in
these polls. Oakwood is committed to serving our students through all
types of college level offerings.”
In September, Oakwood Schools received a Certificate of Commendation for Exemplary Achievement on receiving an Excellent
with Distinction rating on the 2007-2008 Local Report Card issued
by the Ohio Department of Education. Oakwood is one of 74 school
districts in the State of Ohio that
received the newly established
Excellent with Distinction rating.
Prior to the new rating, Oakwood
Schools achieved the then highest
rating of Excellent for 9 years.
We Resolve To Embrace our youth
The 40 Developmental Assets
The Search Institute, an organization focused on child development research,
has identified 40 essential building blocks that children and teenagers need as
a foundation for growing up healthy, caring, and responsible. Named The 40
Developmental Assets, the presence of these attributes in the lives of young
people make it more likely that they will:
• Make positive choices in their lives
• Enhance academic success
Students Live History Through The
History Alive! Program
• Avoid risky behaviors
• Increase civic engagement
The Oakwood Schools have joined with other community organizations in
focusing on The 40 Developmental Assets as a strategy for supporting our
young people. Working with the city, library, service organizations, churches,
scout troops, businesses, youth groups, and others, we are forging a collective vision and an intentional strategy for EMBRACING OAKWOOD’S
Working together, we have committed to becoming ASSET BUILDERS in
order to:
• SUPPORT our young people with our love and attention.
• EMPOWER them with opportunities to make a difference in their
families and community.
• HELP our young people FIND activities that make constructive use
of their time.
• NURTURE in them a commitment to learning.
• INSTILL positive values to guide them.
• HELP THEM DEVELOP life skills and social competencies.
• NURTURE, CELEBRATE AND AFFIRM their positive identities.
Look for reports on this exciting and essential partnership in upcoming
issues of Inside the Oaks.
“Master Harmanrabi,” (aka Mr. Tim Fleck), visited Mr.
Fleck’s sixth grade social studies classes at Harman School in
November. On the day this picture was taken, students were
“guests” at Master Harmanrabi’s scribe school. During this
lesson, students practiced making clay tablets as part of their
study about the culture and people of ancient Mesopotamia.
The History Alive! Program was adopted by the Board of Education as one component of the district’s Social Studies curriculum at Harman, Smith, and Oakwood Junior High.
On December 31, Kathy Bartalo retired from
her position as Director of Educational Services after
serving the Oakwood Schools for six years. Bartalo
had an extensive special education background for
more than 20 years before coming to Oakwood. The
district wishes Mrs. Bartalo well in the next phase
of her life.
Kathy Bartalo
In a recent meeting, the Board of Education
approved the appointment of Mrs. Pam Taiclet as
the new Director of Educational Services. Mrs.
Taiclet comes to Oakwood from the Beavercreek
City Schools, where she most recently served as the
principal at Ankeney Middle School. Prior to serving
there, Taiclet worked as a special education supervisor for eleven years and as a school counselor and
Pam Taiclet
special education teacher.
So what does the Director of Educational Services do for Oakwood Schools? In a nutshell, she covers both human
resources and the needs of special education students.
On the human resources side, the Director of Educational Services is responsible for posting job openings, screening all candidates
and their applications, scheduling and conducting interviews, and creating pools of potential candidates for each open position. In addition,
the Director schedules van routes, assigns students to Career Tech and
Alternative Placement programs, oversees all preschool and South
Connection activities, processes foreign exchange students, ensures
residency requirements are met, maintains all licensure records, and
chairs the Local Professional Licensure Committee.
The special education side of the job is equally intense. According to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Jo Scalzo, the Director
deals with all aspects of the special needs population: “Pam will
interface with parents, teachers, speech pathologists, district psychologists, counselors, physical therapists, occupational therapists,
and intervention specialists, all of whom are needed to meet the
individual needs of our special education students.”
Dr. Scalzo feels that Oakwood is indeed fortunate to have
found two extraordinary professionals in a row for the Educational
Services position: “Most districts have two people to handle human
resources and special education needs, but because of our size and
the backgrounds of Kathy and now Pam, we have been able to cover
both areas in one job description. Pam brings with her a reputation
for working tirelessly with parents and teachers in the best interest
of students. She will serve our community well.”
Mrs. Taiclet was selected from a field of 25 candidates. “I am
enthusiastic about this new professional challenge and eager to
work with Oakwood’s team of educators and community for the
benefit of Oakwood students,” she stated upon her approval by the
outstanding academic achievements
College Board Recognizes Advanced
Placement Oakwood Students
In early October, 2008, Oakwood High School was notified that
sixty-three OHS students who took Advanced Placement (AP) tests
in May, 2008, were named AP Scholars. This means that these students took at least three AP tests, earned passing scores on all tests,
and averaged higher than a passing score overall. In addition, five
OHS class of 2008 graduates – Sarah Deitz, Caitlin Jackson, Jacob
Mays, Lauren Smith, and David Wang – earned the distinction of
being named “National Scholars” by averaging at least a grade of
“4” (out of 5) on all tests taken AND a grade of “4” or higher on at
least eight AP tests.
We congratulate our students and their teachers for these outstanding academic achievements.
Jeff Nagel, Tyler Philo, Conrad Richardson, David Miller, Nathan
Thomas Sarah Shewell, Nora Murphy, Maggie Light-Scotece, Ginny
Beth Fulford, Stephanie Hemmelgarn, Caroline Hartel Kaitlyn
Reynolds, Julia Sizek, Maya Hughes, Alexandra Harmony, Sarah
Hanselman, Elisabeth Johnsen, Catherine Ordeman, Carol Harper,
Siobhan Tellez.
Congratulations National Merit Scholars
Congratulations to Oakwood High School’s National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists: seniors Michele Lynch, Chris Mudry, Sarah
Shewell, Julia Sizek and Nathan Thomas. These students scored in
the top one-half of 1% among college bound high school students
on the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test taken in October
of their junior year.
Congratulations to Oakwood High School’s Commended Scholars: seniors Virginia Fulford, Stephanie Hemmelgarn, Elisabeth
Johnsen, Nora Murphy, Jeffrey Nagel, Shane Ricci, Claire Roess,
Rachel Stock, Brent Turner and Christopher Wolcott. These
students placed in the top 3.5% of college-bound high school
students taking the PSAT in October of their junior year. Row 1: Elisabeth Johnsen, Julia Sizek, Sarah Shewell
Row 2: Brent Turner, Christopher Wolcott, Michele Lynch, Rachel
Stock; Row 3: Virginia Fulford, Stephanie Hemmelgarn, Claire Roess,
Nora Murphy; Row 4: Chris Mudry, Shane Ricci, Jeffrey Nagel,
Nathan Thomas
National Expert Visits Oakwood
Rosalind Wiseman, nationally renowned author and expert on bullying, violence prevention, and ethical leadership, visited Oakwood in October to work with teachers, parents, and
administrators. Anonymous parent donors provided the funding for Wiseman’s visit. One
teacher stated: “Ms. Wiseman was refreshingly candid and obviously an expert in her field.
It was fabulous the way she engaged her audience and was responsive to the issues that arose
. . . What an incredible gift to give the whole Oakwood community.”
Volunteer Spotlight…
Nancy Kravitz
Nancy Kravitz has taken her parents’ advice to
heart. “My parents taught me “when you can, you
do,” said Kravitz. In 1996, Kravitz and her husband
Kevin moved to Dayton from Philadelphia when
Nancy Kravitz
Kevin joined the Dayton Heart Center.
Immediately, Nancy began volunteering at
Harman Elementary School doing projects for her son’s kindergarten
class. Teacher Patty Lynch would send home a canvas bag with various
projects to put together. When Kravitz’s youngest child entered a playgroup, she began to work in Harman’s workshop. Since then she has
served several times as a homeroom parent, was president of Harman’s
PTO in 2004-2005, and is currently the corresponding secretary for the
Jr/Sr High PTO.
“I have pretty much been involved in every volunteer opportunity
Harman has to offer. I even helped organize the “big move” when the
new wing was ready for occupancy,” said Kravitz. The activities that
are near and dear to this volunteer’s heart are school pictures, which
she has chaired for the last 6 years, chaperoning at Camp Joy, and sixth
grade Showcase and Recognition. “The absolute best part of what I do
is reading what the kids write and seeing their art work, every year,”
Kravitz stated. “I get choked up doing Mrs. Pope’s Thanksgiving placemats and I laugh out loud reading the “When I’m A Hundred” essays
done by the second graders.”
What drives this special person to volunteer so many hours to the
Oakwood Schools? Kravitz explained, “I do it quite simply because
it’s where my children are. They are my passion and my purpose in this
life. The sensibility to do for others, I believe, is inherent in all of us.
What I know is that when I am at Harman School I feel like I am being
hugged and I know my kids feel it too. I’m just hugging back.”
Oakwood City School District
Academic Excellence Since 1908
Oakwood Schools Education Foundation
Special Gifts
20 Rubicon Road
Dayton, OH 45409
Phone: (937) 297-5332
Fax: (937) 297-5345
In pursuit of its mission, “Enhancing Excellence through Philanthropy,”
the Oakwood Schools Education Foundation provides significant support for
quality initiatives including: teacher and administrative grants, scholarships,
special projects and wish list items. In addition to annual fund contributions
from alumni and the community, and monies raised through our annual golf
fundraiser, special gifts help us provide students with opportunities not possible
through the district’s normal operating budget.
Mary Jo Scalzo, Ph.D., Superintendent
When the Class of 1965 gathered for their 40th reunion several years ago
Kevin S. Philo, Treasurer
(with almost half the class attending) they discussed ways to celebrate their 50th
reunion and decided a special plan was needed. To give something substantial
Board of Education Members
Paul Vanderburgh, Ed.D., President
back to the Oakwood Schools, the Class of 1965 set a goal to raise $100,000 for
Elizabeth Reger, Vice President
the Oakwood Schools, to be presented at their reunion in 2015. Class representaSam Davis
tives Sally Creager and Jim Deuser provide this encouragement, “Let’s all do our
Beth L. Merritt
part to continue the tradition of excellence in education.” The fund is growing
Debra S. Hershey
each year, and the class has challenged others to make significant contributions
to support the class goal.
Our Vision
Through generous support of other donors, the Foundation has facilitated
The Oakwood School community educates students to become ethical decisionmakers who achieve their life goals, take responsible risks, and contribute to the significant special gifts: The Julian and Marjorie Lange School, the District’s
greater good of the world. Graduates are prepared for their post-secondary pursuits, computer networking infrastructure, Gretchen’s Garden at Harman School and
proud of their Oakwood education, and poised to lead and serve.
the renovation of the High School auditorium. We appreciate the alumni who
have given back to the Oakwood Schools.
Our Mission
For more information regarding our grants, scholarships and initiatives
Doing what is best for students is our guiding principle. To this end, the
please call our Director, Karen Gillingham at the Foundation’s office at
Oakwood School community commits the resources, support, expertise,
and experiences needed for all students to achieve.
(937) 297-5332.
Success Breakfasts: Emily Aebker, Aric Anloague, Kinsey Barhorst, Sara Baumgartner, Janie Behnke, Colette Belden, Hank
Beyer, Heather Brooks, Ryan Burke, Brooke Casterline, Addison
Caruso, Andrew Chase, Kate Gordon, Mary Grace Donnelly, Cal
George, Micaela Gerace, Shannon Greer, Hannah Horwitz, Zach
Joseph, Grant Kincaid, Mackenzie Lahmon, Ali Lamb, Thomas
Lane, Lee LeBoeuf, Caroline Lynch, Quentin Manson, Alex Marquis, Lee McClory, Patric McCready, Michael Mackintosh, Wilson
Mullen, Joey Murphy, Rachel Neff, Annie Noll, Frank Obermeyer,
Megan O’Connell, Jacob Peake, Elizabeth Rogers, Sam Rossio,
Jonathan Seidl, Ariel Swift, Scott Taylor, Joel Thompson, Carly
Traynor, Brock Turner, Morgan Waltersheide, Brody Wilhoit and
Molly Winch.
Three times a year, the Oakwood Junior High staff, students, and
parents come together for an early morning breakfast to honor students for a host of noteworthy achievements. Staff members nominate students for a wide variety of reasons including: random acts of
kindness, improved study skills, academic achievement, community
service, and exemplary citizenship.
Hosted by Principal Dan Weckstein, with hospitality provided
by the PTO, the Success Breakfasts give teachers the opportunity to
“brag on” students for their positive attitudes and accomplishments
in front of the students’ parents. What a great way for 12-13 year
olds to start the day!
Congratulations to the following Oakwood Junior High students,
and their parents, who were recognized at the Fall and Winter OJH
“Fast Facts About the Oakwood Schools”
Total Enrollment: 2,183
Number of Staff:
Professional Staff: 165
Instructional Support: 24
Building Support: 43
School Administrators: 9
State Report Card Rating:
Excellent with Distinction
Per Pupil Expenditure: $9,973