S am's Spotlight
Let's celebrate as a CCS family!

July, 2015
Blessings, CCS families!  The purpose of "Sam's Spotlight" is to communicate the noteworthy accomplishments of our students and staff, so we can celebrate as a CCS family.  

If you have praise-worthy news items to share with the Cincinnati Christian Schools family that involve either CCS students and/or staff, please email 
Kim Smith (Public Relations Assistant) at  kim.smith@cincinnatichristian.org.
Theatre Students Thrive in the Cappies


The CCS Theater Department is a charter member of the Critics and Awards Program of Cincinnati, the "Cappies." The Cappies, is a program through which high school theatre and journalism students are trained as critics, attend shows at other schools, write reviews, and publish those reviews in local newspapers such as the Cincinnati Enquirer. At the end of the school year, the student critics vote for awards that are presented at a formal Cappies Gala at The Aronoff Center in downtown Cincinnati. (It's basically a high school "Oscars.")

Each high school must choose their representing show at the beginning of each school year.  The CCS show chosen to represent and be critiqued by Cappie critics was "Smoke on the Mountain." 

Congratulations to Brett Sackenheim, who won a Cappie Award for Creatvity. Brett played guitar, mandolin, strum stick, accordion, bass ukulele in our "Smoke on the Mountain" orchestra.  

Carissa Zaffiro and Abigail Ploetz were ranked 1st and 2nd as Cappie critics this year and had their reviews sent to WCPO.
Junior Olympics "Thanks!" 


Thank you, Elementary Campus parents, for another great Junior Olympic concessions stand fundraiser!  Thanks to all of your hard work and generous donations, $1,175 was raised for future Elementary projects.


Special thanks to the Hot Dog Crew, the Ticket Money Crew, and all the parents who went through ticket training and braved the "Candy Crush" rush!

Cougar Runners Win at State


Two Runners!  Three Medals!  One New School Record!  Tenth Place Team Finish!

Saturday, June 6th, marked a very successful day for the Cincinnati Christian Boys Track team! State Qualifiers Kameron Antwine and Andy Spies combined to lead the Cougars to an overall 10th place team finish in the 2015 OHSAA Boys Track State Championships!


Kameron, a Senior, made a return trip to Columbus, seeking to improve on his performance his Junior year.  Antwine placed 7th in all of Ohio in the 100 meter dash, with a time of 11.11 seconds. He followed that up by becoming the State Runner-up in the 200 meter dash!  His time of 21.83 is a new CCS record!

Junior Andy Spies finished 5th in the 300 meter hurdles, with a time of 39.85 seconds!  

Go Cougars!

Student Receives Greater Cincinnati Book Award


Julie Snyder, now a CCS Senior, won the University of Notre Dame Club of Greater Cincinnati 2015 Book Award.


A winner must exhibit excellence in academics, community service and consistent leadership qualities.  The organization touted Julie's outstanding high school record, and hopes winning the award will inspire her to continue pursuing excellence.

Honors Biology Field Trip


During the week of Earth Day, Mrs. Smearsoll's Honors Biology class took a special field trip to the Fairfield City Preschool Building, where they served as environmental educators through the Keep Cincinnati Beautiful organization.  To all preschoolers in the building, the CCS students taught a 30-minute program on the Mill Creek and the impact of water pollution on stream life, namely "Fred the Fish," which was the name of the project.


The Senior High students planned their lessons, gathered their supplies, practiced their presentations, and then traveled to talk to six preschool classes.  Mrs. Gina Smearsoll oversaw the project and was extremely proud of her Honors Biology students.

2015 Theatre Camp Counselors
CCS' First Theatre Camp a Blockbuster Hit


During the first week in June, 2014 CCS alumni  (and current Theatre major at Taylor University),  Jenna VanWeelden, spearheaded our first Theatre Camp as a fundraiser for the CCS Theatre Department. Jenna, along with eight CCS Junior and just-graduated Senior volunteer camp counselors, taught almost 40 "campers," grades 4th through 8th, each day from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Many of the "campers" were our very own Elementary Campus students  (Mr. Beaver will have quite a lot of talent to choose from when they get to the Junior/Senior High Campus!)

These "campers" were taught all week by very experienced theatre students.  The entire effort was incredible!  And, b y Friday evening, a full, public performance of Annie Kids took place on stage, complete with costumes!  "It was a flawless performance - so impressive!" said a recently graduated CCS Theatre student.  Mr. Beaver, the Theatre Department's Director, attended the Friday performance and said after the show, "Excellent, excellent, excellent." 
This photo was posted on the Reds Baseball Instagram.
5th & 6th Graders Head to Reds' Game


"Jumbo Diaz does Q&A session in Spanish with 5th and 6th grade Spanish classes from CCS," said the Reds Baseball Instgram post.

Mrs. Heid took her older student Spanish classes to a Reds' game and meeting players was part of the fun!
Sarah Bennett organized an 8-minute fashion show highlighting her designs made with unconventional materials, such as coffee filters and paper clips!
Senior Art Showcase in the Local News


On June 3rd, WCPO Insider highlighted our Junior/Senior High Campus Art Department and their use of augmented reality to enhance their guests' showcase experience.

The journalist quoted Mrs. Britni Ashford (JH/SH Art Teacher), Mrs. Courtney Rice (JH/SH Librarian/Media Specialist), Mrs. Debbie Enos (JH/SH Principal), as well as recently graduated Seniors, Sarah Bennett and Hannah Smith, regarding some very unique teaching and mentoring aspects within our CCS Art Department.

6th Grade Special Award Winners


Mrs. Edwards rewards some very special 6th grade accomplishments each year!  The winners are:
Adam Edwards & Ryan Mendoza - "Perfect Attendance"
Kris Smith - Spelling Bee Winner
Alex Bertram - "Book It" Award - Read 4,246 minutes
Ethan Kuchta - "Book It" Award - Read 3,570 minutes

Mrs. Edwards also awarded 9 special students for Outstanding Representation at the Speech Meet, 15 special students for receiving an A in English all four quarters, and 17 special students for receiving an A in Social Studies all four quarters!
Keep up the great work, students!
CCS Graduate Joins World Race


Recently graduated Senior, Carissa Zaffiro, became a World Race participant and is preparing to leave in September.  Carissa felt God leading her to pursue this adventure that will launch her into her adult Christian life.


The World Race is a stretching journey to 11 countries in 11 months in order to serve "the least of these" while among real and raw community.  This unique mission trip is a challenging adventure for young adults to abandon worldly possessions and a traditional lifestyle, in exchange for an understanding that "It's not about you; it's about the Kingdom."


Carissa says, "The things I'm most looking forward to on the world race is focus, experience, and community. I love that before I go to college and start the mundane school life again, I get to focus only on the Lord and his purpose for me every day while experiencing new cultures with a very real and passionate community of believers."


Please pray for Carissa who will be blogging her experiences regularly.  Please contact her mother, Susan Zaffiro, at susan.zaffiro@cincinnatichristian.org if interested in keeping up with Carissa.

Junior High Art Students "Nail It"


Mrs. Ashford's Junior High art students' last project of the year was in the category of color matching.  The assignment was for each student to paint a square of their own while working together to "match" the colors from each other's work.  All done to create a final, put-together collage of the photograph that was their model.  The students chose to use Mrs. Amy Schlake's (JH English Teacher) photograph as their model.  The result was dead-on!  How fun is that?!
Emma Schlake
CCS Poets Earning Kudos


Cincinnati Hamilton County Public Library hosted a poetry contest in April and awarded two CCS students with Honorable Mentions.
Emma Schlake - "Forever"
Anne Olaniyan - Untitled

Well done, girls!

Laura Kindell
More Recognition for Senior High Athletes
  • Logan Katsetos played in the Ron Woyan East/West All Star Football Game.
  • At MVC Districts, Zach Lail was named MVP and John Gilstorf was MVC 1600m Champion.
  • Caleb Edwards and Jacob Fortney were the only sophomores to place in the top 12 for shot put at Districts.
  • Hannah Edwards and Terence Hubbard have received additional recognition from this basketball season.  Hannah received Northeast Super Regional Team recognition from the National Christian School Athletic Association (NCSAA). And Terence was named to the NCSAA Boys' Varsity Basketball Awards Northeast Super-Region Team.
  • Rachel Doloresco, Matt Floyd, Laura Kindell, Andy Spies, and Kameron Antwine were named MVC athletes of the week in April through June.
  • Senior MVC All Academic Selection, maintaining 3.5 GPA:   Matthew Craig - Baseball, Jacob Knueven - Baseball, Joseph Stenger - Baseball, Shauna McKain -Softball, Jacob Englert - Track, Ethan Myers - Track, Rachel Doloresco -Track, Allie Higgins - Track, and Kristina Lail - Track.
If you have praise-worthy news items to share with the Cincinnati Christian Schools family that involve either CCS students and/or staff, please email it to
Kim Smith (Public Relations Assistant) at kim.smith@cincinnatichristian.org.