December 2018
The community gathered at Woodbury on November 19 for a candlelight vigil to honor sixth-grade teacher Aisha Fraser.
The Shaker Schools Connection
Inside this Issue...
IB in Action: Onaway students begin three-part project for Fostering Hope.
Student Spotlight: Woodbury student Sage Woods-Cooper has a passion for ballet.
Student News: Read about our students' accomplishments over the past month.
Employee Spotlights: Woodbury PE teacher Geoffrey Cross and Mercer fourth-grade teacher Jennifer Wysocki both live and teach a growth mindset.
Building Spotlight: Rollerblade donates new equipment to replace Fernway skates damaged by the fire.
Staff News: Eric Forman and Tina McCauley travel with delegation of educators to China.
Around the District: Winter recess reminder; Save-the-date for A Night for the Red and White; Stay up-to-date on the superintendent search.

Aisha M. Fraser
January 18, 1973-November 17, 2018

Forever in our hearts and minds.

Memorial Service
11 a.m., Saturday, December 8
Olivet Institutional Baptist Church
8712 Quincy Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

IBIB in Action: Onaway Students Begin Three-Part Project for Fostering Hope
Right before Thanksgiving Break, Onaway and Fernway@Onaway students began the school's PTO-sponsored three-part service project for Fostering Hope, a Cleveland nonprofit that enriches the lives of children living in foster care. Over the next four months, students will assemble and create items to include in journey bags---small duffle bags, backpacks or suitcases filled with toiletries, clothing items, pens, paper, small toys and other items---which are given to children when they enter foster care. Many children enter the foster care system without any personal items beyond the clothes they are wearing.

"We wanted to have a cumulative service project that students feel connected to throughout the year," said Carisa Tilton, Onaway PTO president. "It's a great opportunity for all the students at Onaway to come together and help others." Read more about the Onaway project for Fostering Hope .
Onaway students creating journals for Fostering Hope journey bags.
SWCStudent Spotlight: Sage Woods-Cooper
Photo by Mychal Lilly
At only 10 years old, Woodbury fifth-grader Sage Woods-Cooper is every bit the old soul her name implies. She's reflective, a risk-taker and quite literally, she's balanced: after school, she puts on her ballet slippers and works to improve her growing passion for classical ballet. In fact, this month, you can watch her perform in The Cleveland Ballet's production of The Nutcracker at Playhouse Square, December 12-16 ( you can buy tickets online). 

How did you get started in dance?
Well, I was born into it. My mom is a ballet dancer and she teaches ballet, so I kind of started young. But when I was little, I was always really shy. I didn't want to talk to anybody. Sometimes, people thought I wasn't learning anything, but I was always listening.

Did dance help you to be less shy?
It did. I started dancing more and making new friends. And dance helped me to express myself, so I started talking a little more every day.

We've heard that you perform in The Nutcracker. How many years have you been involved with the production?
This will be my third year. This year, I'm a mouse, a flower and an angel. I get to be all three! And we have a couple of performances during the daytime on weekdays.

Wow. So that means you get to miss school. How do you feel about that? Be honest.
[Giggling.] I feel pretty good about it.

studentnewsStudent News
Mission Moon STEM Expo at Lomond
On December 18, 22 Lomond students from grades 1-4 will host their first-ever STEM expo called Mission Moon, a showcase of team models and presentation boards the students have brought to life, thanks to support from the Shaker Schools Foundation and Rockwell Automation for the after-school program FIRST LEGO League, Jr. The Expo is open from 6-8 p.m.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a New Hampshire-based nonprofit founded to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. The organization sponsors programs, like LEGO League, Jr., to introduce STEM concepts to students ages six to ten while engaging them through a familiar toy: LEGO.

The students have been meeting since early October, building LEGO models using LEGO Education WeDo 2.0, collaborative software that introduces students to computational thinking and engineering principles, and creating posters to show what they've learned.

"Our students are so excited about the expo and they've worked so hard on their models and boards," says Lomond Principal Carina Freeman. "The First Lego League Jr. gives our students ideal hands-on, age-appropriate, fun STEM opportunities. Through the engineering and design process, they learn problem-solving skills that can be applied in the classroom. We're so thankful to the Shaker Schools Foundation and Rockwell Automation for their support of this special activity."  

If you'd like to attend the Expo, RSVP by email to Carina Freeman.
Four Raider Athletes Sign National Letters of Intent
Congratulations to our four senior Raiders who signed their National Letters of Intent last month during the High School's Signing Day event!

Sophie Calabrese will attend the University of Texas (women's crew); Chachi Gustafson will attend The Ohio State University (men's swimming); Nathan Rose will attend Bowling Green State University (baseball); and Lyle Yost will attend The Ohio State University (men's diving). 

Best of luck to each of these student-athletes in their final seasons as Raiders!

Shaker Heights Middle School Robotics Team Celebrates Successes
In only its third year, the Shaker Heights Middle School Robotics Club qualified for the VEX IQ Robotics State Competition on February 23, 2019 and the 2019 CREATE U.S. Open Robotics Championship-VEX IQ, Middle School Division from April 4-6, 2019 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The students who advance to these competitions represent the best from Ohio and around the United States.

On November 17, the eighth-grade team of Sarah Marcus, Hannah Whitney and Nico Moulthrop won the Excellence award for the STEM, autonomous and skill challenges of their robot at the VEX IQ Brookside Thanksgiving VEX IQ Next Level Qualifier. The students have learned so much and look forward to competing in the next competitions.
"With many students beginning to consider possible career options, middle school is a particularly important time for our students to gain positive opinions about STEM subjects that will be taken through to further years. These experiences or perceptions will dramatically impact their future choices," says Dexter Lindsey, Middle School Robotics Club co-advisor. Read more about the Middle School Robotics Club.
The Shaker Heights High School cast of  Pippin!
High School Cast of Pippin! Invited to Perform at the Ohio Thespian State Conference
Congratulations to the High School Cast of Pippin!, who were invited by the Board of Directors of the Ohio Educational Theatre Association, to perform the musical during the Ohio Thespian State Conference at Akron School of the Arts Firestone, March 29-31, 2019. High School Theatre Arts Department Chair Scott Sumerak says this is the first time a group from Shaker Heights High School has attended the conference, and the first time they'll perform. Bravo, students!
December Concerts and Performances
Be sure to mark your calendars to experience one of our Music program's many student performances during the month of December!
  • December 5, 6:45 p.m.: Woodbury Grade 6 Band Concert I at the Middle School Auditorium
  • December 5, 8 p.m.: Woodbury Grade 6 Band Concert II at the Middle School Auditorium
  • December 6, 6:45 p.m.: Woodbury Grade 5 Band Concert I at the Middle School Auditorium
  • December 6, 8 p.m.: Woodbury Grade 5 Band Concert II at the Middle School Auditorium
  • December 12, 6:45 p.m.: Woodbury Grade 5 Orchestra Concert at the Middle School Auditorium
  • December 12, 8 p.m.: Woodbury Grade 6 Orchestra Concert at the Middle School Auditorium
  • December 13, 7:30 p.m.: High School Winter Choir Alumni Concert, High School Large Auditorium
  • December 18, 7:30 p.m.: High School Orchestra Concert, High School Large Auditorium
  • December 19, 7 p.m.: High School Band Concert I (Concert Ensemble, Concert Winds, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band), High School Large Auditorium
  • December 20, 7 p.m.: High School Band Concert II (Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble), High School Large Auditorium
CrossWysockiEmployee Spotlights: Geoffrey Cross and Jennifer Wysocki
Geoffrey Cross 
Woodbury Physical Education Teacher

It's hard for Woodbury PE teacher Geoffrey Cross to walk through the Woodbury gym at recess without being stopped by eager students vying for his attention. Every time, he stops, squares his shoulders and shares a special handshake---a different one for each student. "I'll create one for any student who asks me," says the Class of 2002 Shaker Heights High School alum. So how does Mr. Cross keep the 20-plus special handshakes straight? "Practice, a lot of practice," he offers with his winning smile. 

Maybe so, but below the surface, Mr. Cross is a teacher who wouldn't dream of letting a student down because he remembers what it was like to be built up by teachers who believed in him.  Read our Q&A with Mr. Cross.
Jennifer Wysocki
Fourth-Grade Mercer Teacher

Mercer fourth-grade teacher Jennifer Wysocki glows with an enthusiasm that's awfully catching. 

Whether she's chatting about her professional life in her inspired classroom or sharing delightful nuggets about the four-acre farm she shares with her husband, three silkie chickens, 21 Coturnix quail, five Japanese button quail and two cats, it's clear that Ms. Wysocki is living her dream. 

To be sure, she's the kind of person who's innately curious about the world and then brings that same spirit to her students. Read our Q&A with Ms. Wysocki and see the clever Instagram photo shoots she and her husband, Adam, have posted on Instagram at adifer_farms.
rollerbladeBuilding Spotlight: Rollerblade Donates New Equipment to Replace Fernway Skates Damaged by the Fire
Fernway@Woodbury students enjoying new equipment donated by Rollerblade.
When Fernway School was devastated by the roof fire last July, Fernway PE teacher Sean Morris lost his students' most treasured equipment: Rollerblades.

For nearly two decades, Rollerblading has been a part of the Fernway PE Curriculum for students in grades 1-4, thanks to Mr. Morris. Mr. Morris, who is also an International Inline Skating Instructor, has been an ambassador for the Rollerblade Skate in School Program for the past 17 years and, in that time, he has won the support of Rollerblade president Stephen Charrier. Mr. Morris has helped many school systems around the world utilize the program in Physical Education classes and he's presented at conferences and workshops highlighting the Skate in School program and his work with the students at Fernway.

"When I reached out to Stephen with a grant request, his immediate reply was, 'We will take care of you,'" says Mr. Morris. The company donated nearly $6,000 worth of Rollerblade gear to ensure that Mr. Morris could continue the program. "I have always felt a strong connection to this company and was overwhelmed by their generosity and support," Mr. Morris adds.

Mr. Morris says that the school community has been consoled by incredible acts of kindness like Mr. Charrier's. "It has been so important for the students to see all the goodness in the world in the middle of such a frightening time of uncertainty and retain something that was familiar and loved at our school," Mr. Morris says. "The smiles, laughter, and excitement I observed with our students during our first week in the new equipment was priceless. One student was zooming around the gym shouting, 'I'm free!' And all students moan when it's time to take the gear off at the end of our lesson."

staffStaff News:  Eric Forman and Tina McCauley Travel with Delegation of Educators to China
Ms. McCauley and Mr. Forman pose next to a statue of Confucius.
From November 2-11, Onaway Principal Eric Forman and Lomond Assistant Principal Tina McCauley traveled to China with the Chinese Bridge Delegations for American Principals, a group of 150 teachers, administrators and school board members from around the country. The trip was sponsored by the College Board and the Confucius Institute. Both Mr. Forman and Ms. McCauley spent time in Beijing with the larger group, visiting many sites including the Great Wall of China, and learning more about the College Board and the Confucius Institute. The pair then broke off with a smaller group and took the bullet train to visit two cities and six elementary schools in the Shangdong province, a coastal province in eastern China on the Yellow Sea.

"Trips like these always reinforce how important it is that we're connected to the world," says Mr. Forman. "It also helped me to appreciate that while we focus on how our students view the world, it's also important to understand how the world views us."

Learn more about Mr. Forman's and Ms. McCauley's travels to China.

districtnewsAround the District
Winter Recess is December 22-January 6
Winter Recess begins Saturday, December 22. Classes resume on Monday, January 7. We wish all students, staff and families a Happy Holiday season and a Happy New Year!
A Night for the Red & White is March 2
Prepare to innovate Shaker at A Night for the Red & White, March 2, 2019 at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown, the District's annual gala which celebrates the Shaker community and students. Join parents, faculty, staff, alumni and friends for an evening of dining, dancing and a silent auction in support of the Shaker Schools Foundation's Innovation Fund focusing on STEAM initiatives.

Raising over $2.7 million in the past 26 years, A Night for the Red & White plays an integral part in providing educational enrichment opportunities for all students of Shaker schools.

For tickets, more information and corporate sponsorship details, visit or call (216) 295-4319.
Share Your Input on Our Superintendent Leadership Profile
In December, the Board of Education will begin the community engagement phase of the Superintendent Search. We invite all community members to contribute to the process of developing the leadership profile. That profile will outline the essential skills to be possessed by our next superintendent. You can participate by:
  • Completing the Leadership Priority Survey online
  • Attending one of two community meetings on Wednesday, December 12 at Shaker Heights High School or on Thursday, December 13 at Shaker Heights Middle School. Both meetings will begin at 6 p.m.
We look forward to receiving your valuable input.

Subscribe to our email list to stay up-to-date on the Superintendent Search process or learn more about the search on our special Superintendent Search section of the District website.

Registration is Open for Winter Break Camp!
Registration is open for the Shaker Heights Recreation Department's Winter Break Camp. 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m., December 26-28 and January 2-4. Sign up for one or all six days. Swimming, science, field trips, and lots more will keep kids engaged and entertained. This year's themes are: Fire and Ice, Winter Extravaganza, Imagination Station, Pajama Jam, It's Electrifying, and Bounce & Play Snow Day.  Sign up online; by calling 216-491-1295 or 216-491-1360; or in-person at Thornton Park (3301 Warrensville Center Road) or the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Building (3450 Lee Road).
Read Shaker Schools' Latest Feature in Shaker Life
The Fall 2018 issue of Shaker Life magazine includes a feature that answers the age-old question: What did you do last summer? The piece includes profiles of four Shaker Heights Schools students: senior Leo Schirokauer, seventh grader Kimora Langford, sophomore Alexa Clawson and junior Molly Harper. 

We Want your Feedback
Have a comment, suggestion or concern? Share it with us using our new Feedback form on the District's website, . Simply choose the "Contact" drop-down menu at the top of the website and click on "Feedback." You can select the particular department you want to receive your message.  

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