Artists, athletes, staff honored by Norwalk board

Cary Ashby • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:10 PM

Artists, athletes and staff — oh my! Artists, athletes and staff — oh my!  

The Norwalk school board honored them all during its regular meeting Tuesday at Norwalk High School.

Main Street School sixth-grade student Mason Berry and Norwalk Middle School eighth-grader Genevieve Gregory have work hanging in the state teacher’s retirement building in Columbus. The Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA) selected 179 pieces of art work from nine state regions for the 2008 Youth Art Month Exhibition.

The board also recognized Main Street fifth-grader Caleb Meyers and NMS seventh-grader Taylor Walton for having work displayed in the Rhodes Office Tower, also in Columbus. The OAEA chose 170 pieces of art work from nine state regions for the 28th annual Young People’s Art Exhibition.

Each of the students’ works were submitted by their respective art teachers, Rachel Hipp and Sara Boyer.

Also honored were Main Street sixth-grade students Michelle Loughridge and Wessley Tanzillo for being first-place winners in the annual Knights of Columbus Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest.

In other student recognitions, the board honored Norwalk High School boys basketball players Kyle Kurtz and Kyle Smith. The team went 17-6 and were sectional champions and advanced to district competition.

“We had a wonderful basketball season,” Norwalk City Schools Superintendent Wayne Babcanec said, calling it the best since the 1988-1989 season. “I enjoyed watching the Fab Five.”

Kurtz earned the following honors: Second team All NOL, first team District 6 and honorable mention in the Northwest District. Smith snagged first team All NOL, first team District 6, second team in the Northwest District and most recently, All Ohio honorable mention.

Babcanec raved about the following swimmers, all of whom he said had great careers: Eric Bogen, Abby Brutsche, Abby Burton, Jessica Cole (“the first person ever to go to state,” he said) and Kaitlyn Wesler.

“It’s going to be a big hole in the swimming team when all these girls leave us,” Babcanec said.

The board also honored wrestlers Josh Cook, Gabe Sidoti and Drew Williams. Each young man earned first team All NOL honors and were district qualifiers.

Finally, the board recognized Main Street School Principal Kirk Pavelich and his staff for receiving two Ohio Middle School Association (OMSA) Competent Awards for “student and staff recognition” and “scheduling.” The purpose of the award, established in 1989, is to recognize exemplary middle schools as model resources.

“We are very honored to be recognized by them this year,” Pavelich said.

Later, he explained that “what jumped out” at the OMSA member who interviewed Pavelich and toured Main Street was the main hallway display about the staff member of the month. The PTO started the honor in the fall in which students nominate a staff member and write a supporting essay.

“Basically, their essay response is transposed into a bulletin board,” Pavelich said.

In the cafeteria, the evaluator noticed the student of the month displays from each home room. There is also is one for students’ various individual achievements in the “Survivor Challenge.”

The scheduling award recognizes Main Street’s dedication to flexibility in team planning and the common planning period. Pavelich said the OMSA member also was impressed by the monthly “building leadership team” meetings, in which the principal and 10 to 12 teachers address issues to make the school as efficient as possible, such as critiquing the master calendar.

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