From Denny Morrison, Superintendent
I hope that each of you have had a relaxing winter break with your families. We have had an exceptional first half of the 2016-2017 school year. It is impossible to mention all of the highlights for the first half of the year, but here are a few of them. Thanks so much for all you do for our kids.
Our student enrollment remains high. We have 4,488 students enrolled in the district. The state’s prediction was that we would have 4,283 students. Thus, we are operating with approximately 200 more students than expected.
For the first half of the current school year our school district’s revenues have exceed our expenditures by $1,184,160.
Our District Leadership Team consists of principals and teachers from every building in the district and they meet regularly. They share examples of best practices and student- focused initiatives taking place in the buildings. It is so exciting to hear everyone speaking a common language that focuses on student achievement.
Our Xenia Community Schools Family grew by 16 teaching positions due to increased student enrollment and the desire to increase course offerings for our students.
In technology we now have a one to one ratio of devices per student in the school district.
McKinley’s Lego Robotics Team competed and did a terrific job. The students researched a solution to the problem of bee population decline and presented it to the judges. The team consisted of Kaylee Benson, Sophie Robinson, Hannah Fultz, Blake Hughes, Austin Alvarez, Trenton Lee, Ben Pulfer and Alisha Lindsay. The team is coached by Tim Carey and Travis Klosterman.
The Warner Canned Food Drive collected 2,649 items which were given back to the community.
December 17th was a throwback to the good ole days at Benner Field House. Xenia boys and girl’s high school basketball programs played West Carrollton in the historic gymnasium. Benner Field House opened in 1939 and from 1939-1977 Benner was the home court for the only State Championship basketball team in 1941-1942. The first game played there was won by Xenia 28-19 over Wilmington. The coach for Xenia was Tom Blackburn. The final home game, February 22, 1977, was won 102-85 over Fairmont East. The 1977 team was coached by current boy’s coach Kent Anderson’s father, Phil Anderson.
The Xenia High School Academic Football Team is 10th in the State of Ohio as rated by the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association.
The fast growing Five Star Step Up to Quality Xenia Preschool opened its new gross motor room in December. The grand opening was in conjunction with their Literacy Night. This room provides our youngsters with the opportunity to develop and strengthen their muscles using equipment designed for that purpose. Our Xenia Preschool is the only Five Star Program in the area.
XHS held their 2016 National Honor Society Induction Ceremony on December 8th. 32 juniors were inducted into this prestigious organization.
In December more than 100 XHS students donated blood to the American Red Cross.
Warner 7th grade students participated in a real world simulation activity on career exploration. 14 community members became guest teachers who came to volunteer and share their expertise with the students in this simulation.
The XHS student performers did a great job in the fall play “Picnic”. The play was under the direction of Eric Neunschwander.
Hank Siefert signed a letter of intent to swim for the University of Kentucky. Hank also participated in Omaha, Nebraska in the Olympic swimming trials. Hank swam in the 400 free on NBC Sports.com.
Amelia Maloney was named the Mike Reed, Edward Jones Athlete of the Month.
Our schools held special Veterans Day programs to honor and thank veterans for their service to our country. We want to ensure that our veterans know how much we appreciate them and they will never be forgotten.
Kim Halula, 1974 XHS graduate, came to the December Board Meeting and presented to the Board of Education members her high school band uniform. She said that she did not know where to return it back then after the tornado. No late fee was charged.
Fall sports teams in girls soccer, boys soccer, volleyball, boys cross country, boys golf and girls cross country all won the “American South” division of the GWOC. Football and tennis finished in 2nd place.
Over 300 runners and walkers participated in the 2nd annual Healthy Halloween Hustle in October. The money raised supports classroom grants provided by the Xenia Community Schools Foundation.
A Community Spaghetti Dinner was held at Warner Middle School in October. Student groups performed and and everyone enjoyed complimentary spaghetti dinners.
Alexis Rickels received the Award of Excellence from the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists. She represented Xenia High School and the State of Ohio at the Congress of Future Scientists and Technology Leaders in Boston.
Anna Moore and Joe Cloud were nominated for the Presidential Scholars Award.
The Class of 2016 was offered over $4.5 million in college scholarships. Over 75% of last year’s graduates are presently attending college.
Molly Wavra, Greene County Career Center Teacher at XHS was one of 32 teachers nationwide chosen to complete a food science training program developed and implemented in a partnership between the Food and Drug Administration, the National Science Teacher’s Association, and Graduate School USA.
Aliyah Jones, sophomore at XHS, attended the Southwest Ohio Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Camp at Urbana University.
We have had a great first half to the school year. I believe the second half will be even better.