Inside Bay Schools December 2017

Our monthly news roundup
December 2017
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There is nothing like the holiday music of Bay Village Schools. From concerts to caroling, the talent is on display for our wonderful music program! it is no surprise our district is named to the Best Music Education Communities in the U.S. list each year (since 2003).
(Photo by Elaine Dwyer)
Caroling throughout the district, wowing audiences at our schools and at the Knickerbocker. Musicians turn their vocal and instrumental talents toward the sounds of the season as they spread holiday cheer throughout Bay Village! Here's a sample of that fun day of caroling.

Bay High instrumentalists at the Knickerbocker!
Be sure to check our website, Facebook and Twitter for more music postings over the holiday break!

Season celebrations go on and on
The holiday spirit begins at Glenview . . .
Infants, toddlers and preschool children enjoy their building's magical transformation . . .
Collections for "With Love, Maggie, and so much more . . .
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Here are some rarely-spotted Santa's elves (at our Board of Education office) gathering their "With Love, Maggie" toy drive presents for little patients at Cleveland Clinic. (Left-to-right: Danielle Garcia, Char Prince, Deb Tidwell and Stacy Dunning.) Many collections of toys, money, clothing and food throughout our district by both staff and students!
Bay High staff members dress up for Christmas . . .BHSstaff17
Can we take the Christmas spirit a little too far, Bay High Staff? Nawwww.
A time to celebrate with colleagues and friends . . .
Left-to-right: Laurel Beck, Kelly Underation and Gina Tianello always throw the best parties on behalf of our teachers' association for all staff to enjoy!
Santa, of course!SantaElf
Santa took time out of his busy schedule for a visit with Normandy students. Who knew a certain, busy PTA president had time to moonlight as one of Santa's elves?

Rockets Coach Ron Rutt named Cleveland Browns High School Coach of the Year!

Bay High School Rockets head football coach, Ron Rutt, was honored on Sunday, Dec. 11, during the Cleveland Browns’ game as their 2017 High School Coach of the Year.

The Browns also surprised Rutt at school the following day with a gift of Xenith helmets for the team worth $25,000. Read more in the Westlake Bay Village Observer.

Top photo, left-to-right: Lisa Piazza (University Hospitals); seniors Billy Hardebeck and Brendan O'Doherty; Darrell Taylor (Browns); senior Vladamir Miskovic; Jenner Tekancic (Browns); senior Patrick O'Doherty; Rockets Coach Ron Rutt, senior Thomas Koss, Josh Studzinski (University Hospitals); Michael Ryan and Jim Vandershaff (Xenith Helmets); and seniors Sean Heideloff, Dillon Barry, Dillon Prochaska, Bryce Jackson, Matt Nameth and Paul Boutros.

Out and about
Students learning outside the classroom . . .
Bay High students at American Greetings World Headquarters!
Bay High students in Mr. Hildebrandt's photography course learned tips from the the pros recently during a visit to American Greetings at Crocker Park.
AG Group Photo


Debating the future of the world at Model UN
Thirty Bay High School students attended a two-day Cleveland Council on World Affairs fall conference at Lorain County Community College, tackling weighty global  issues such as women's rights, nuclear disarmament, fair trials, vaccine distribution in developing countries, female genitalia mutilation, marco-traffic, Syrian refugees and much more. Read more at

Ohio Representative Dave Greenspan (District 16) presented four statehouse commendations, one to each K-12 PTA in the Bay Village Schools, for receiving the 2017 PTA School of Excellence Award from the National Parent Teacher Association.
"I want to recognize and thank you for what you do to educate our students and provide students with a culture that fosters growth and development," said Greenspan. "Thank you for the good work that you do."

The commendations go to Normandy Elementary, Westerly Elementary, Bay Middle School and Bay High School.

Read details about the award in this Westlake Bay Village article.
Bay Village Schools PTAs honored by Ohio House of Representatives
PTApresidentsWithGreenspanLeft-to-right: Normandy Elementary PTA president Meghan Jenkins, Bay Middle School PTA President Chrissy Morscher, Ohio Representative Dave Greenspan, Bay Village Board of Education President Gayatry Jacob-Mosier and Bay PTA Council President Cheryll McCarty.

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Bay Middle School Principal Sean McAndrews and Asst. Principal Tom Grodek receiving shoe shines for the boys' middle school fundraiser. Boys (from left): Ben Church, Adam Ward, Brandon Knaack, Nolan Cain, Ethan Jacobs.
Bay Middle School boys shine shoes to fund holiday food service project

It began as a joke when, seven years ago, members of the Bay Middle School Honor group needed to choose a service project. After much debate, one member jokingly said, “We should just shine shoes and get money from that.”

The idea became an instant hit, and The Shoe Shine Fundraiser was born. Money is raised by shining the shoes of faculty, staff and fellow students at Bay Middle School. The funds are used to buy cookie-baking ingredients, and the boys then bake cookies to donate to the Bay Food Ministry for holiday food gift baskets for lower-income families. Surplus money earned is donated to the food ministry and Bay Village Community Services. Read the story at:
LISTEN: Yes, those beautiful voices of the Cleveland Pops Chorus, back up singers here for famous tenor Andrea Bocelli, include none other than Bay High Choral Director Devon Gess, and Normandy Elementary music teacher Jim Kotora.


Both Gess and Kotora sing regularly with the Cleveland Pops Chorus, and this year they sang with Andrea Bocelli at Quicken Loans Arena for Bocelli's December 1 concert.

"Bocelli's people needed an orchestra, and they hired the Cleveland Orchestra. They asked if they knew of a choral group, and of course they have their own!" said Kotora. "We learned a good deal of new material for this one. Lots of Italian."
Kotora and Gess have participated in both the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and the Cleveland Pops Chorus over the past years. "I had to give up the orchestra chorus when I had my children and was teaching at Bay High," said Gess. "It was very time intensive. The Pops Chorus is less so, and I think the literature we sing is a lot more fun. My own high school director is the director of the chorus and is so incredibly talented!" said Gess of Cleveland Pops Chorus Director, William Zurkey. "Every rehearsal is like a workshop."
Both teachers feel they bring much more to their students at every grade level because of their continued participation in a professional choral group.
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